What is America’s energy strategy?
Barack Obama embarked upon energy policy reform:
- Reduce CO2 emissions
- Cap and trade to encourage clean renewable and sustainable energy development and supply
That is incomplete. Romney has a more complete strategy to achieve energy independence by 2016.
Republicans are entrenched in the oil-dependency paradigm and are more inclined to “drill baby drill.”
One thing conservatives don’t like is having the Department of Energy act as a venture capitalist. That isn’t a good idea and interferes with VC’s providing that service.
Government policy should stick with tax incentives as opposed to loan guarantees.
What would help Obama is for him to head the situation off at the pass with alternative solutions. Don’t wait to be beaten up again because his hands are empty.
In this story by Zack Colman, representatives from various states that represent coal and other energy forms are lobbying to cut slack on environmental regulations. They will do that until there is an environmental disaster and then they will change their minds and act like victims
“Lawmakers to hit at administration’s energy policies upon return from August recess
By Zack Colman
The House plans to vote Friday on the “No More Solyndras Act” that would sunset an oft-maligned federal energy loan program, according to a House leadership aide.
The bill would bar the Energy Department (DOE) from issuing loan guarantees for applications it received after the end of 2011 and set new parameters for existing ones.
DOE says the bill does nothing to boost taxpayer protections and would actually harm the program.
The bill will serve as a messaging vehicle against President Obama’s green-energy policies, as it is unlikely to pass the Senate if it gets through the House. The bill is named after California solar-panel-maker Solyndra, which went bust in 2011 after getting a $535 million federal loan guarantee.
Solyndra has come to personify the ideological differences between Republicans and Democrats on the government’s role in markets, particularly energy.
Republicans say the firm’s bankruptcy shows clean-energy technology is not ready to compete with fossil fuels such as natural gas, coal and oil. The GOP and its presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, have advocated for expanding gas-and-oil drilling as a centerpiece of their energy platforms.
Despite the criticism Obama has received for his bets on clean energy, the president has pushed forward with his support of the technologies. Though he has recently warmed to more natural-gas drilling, the president has vocally backed wind, solar and other forms of green energy.
Off the floor, House Energy and Commerce Committee — the birthplace of the “No More Solyndras Act” — will jolt its members back into session mode with six subcommittee hearings next week.
The centerpiece will be two bills designed to limit the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
Though House Energy and Commerce Republicans have taken aim at EPA greenhouse gas regulations all session, the Energy and Power subcommittee hearings Tuesday and Friday will be some of the first on the topic since the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia shot down one of the agency’s rules. The court said an EPA rule that that curbed soot- and smog-forming power plant emissions that crossed state lines encroached too much on states’ abilities to manage emissions.
The Tuesday hearing will discuss Rep. Ed Whitfield’s (R-Ky.) bill (H.R. 4255) that would prohibit EPA from offering financial assistance for greenhouse gas emission reduction activities for efforts that occur outside the U.S. — essentially, international climate change agreements.
Democrats backed a global climate change deal in their platform.
Meanwhile, Romney said in an online questionnaire this week that U.S. efforts to reduce global warming were ineffective if not matched by coordinated international action. He criticized Obama’s EPA regulations, saying they would shift industrial activity to emerging economies that were not committed to cutting emissions.
The Friday hearing will take a look at Rep. David McKinley’s (R-W.Va.) bill (H.R. 6172) that would prevent the EPA from regulating fossil fuel power plants for carbon dioxide emissions until certain pollution-control technologies are commercially available.
Those technologies, known as carbon capture and storage, have yet to become cost efficient. The technology collects greenhouse gas emissions before they reach the atmosphere and then pumps them underground into rock formations.
But commercialization of carbon capture and storage appears years away, despite the federal government spending billions to accelerate the process.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), a noted advocate of the technology, plans to introduce a research and development bill similar to a previous one he sponsored in 2010.
Elsewhere, Capitol Hill will be going nuclear.
The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will discuss Chairman Jeff Bingaman’s (D-N.M.) nuclear waste bill (S. 3469). Bingaman has already acknowledged the bill won’t pass this year. Instead, the hearing will be an informational one meant to provide a bit of momentum for next Congress. By then,
Bingaman will be gone and enjoying his retirement.
Bingaman’s bill would implement recommendations from a January report by the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future, including developing interim storage sites to hold the waste accumulating at nuclear power reactors; restarting efforts to build one or more permanent disposal sites; and establishing a new independent federal body to assume oversight duties from the Energy Department.
That’s not it for nuclear in Congress next week.
The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works will hold a Wednesday hearing on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) progress on implementing nuclear reactor safety enhancements. NRC Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane will testify, marking her first appearance before the committee as head of the organization.
Also on Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will discuss the security measures in place at the Energy Department’s nuclear weapons complex. Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman will testify.
Off the Hill, EPA is putting on its Environmentally Friendly Vehicle Conference at the Baltimore Convention Center. The Monday through Wednesday event marks the first time the conference has been held in the United States. Sven Alkalaj, executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, will speak, along with Bob Perciasepe, EPA deputy administrator.
The Solar Energy Industries Association will host its annual Solar Power International conference in Orlando, Fla. from Monday through Thursday. Former President Clinton will speak at the event on Wednesday.
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