E&E News PM (subs. req’d) has a taste of what it will be like when progressives run things:
“Green” power transmission to move renewable energy to population centers will be part of the economic stimulus bill Democrats move early next year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said today.
Finally, we can start to think strategically about how the government can enable the future, rather than disable the future, as we’ve seen for the past eight years. The government was critical to enabling most of the key infrastructure efforts in this country — the railway system, the electric grid, the interstate highway system, and the Internet.
The next big thing is a smart, green power grid that enables rapid growth of efficiency and demand management, wind power, solar baseload, and plug in hybrids (see “An introduction to the core climate solutions“). That grid is arguably the biggest bottleneck to the green transition.
Capitol Hill Democrats hope to have a large economic stimulus package ready for President-elect Barack Obama to sign when he takes office in January. The package, which is projected to reach into the hundreds of billions of dollars, is expected to include investments in various infrastructure projects and energy programs.
Reid said the major energy bill approved in 2007 represented “baby steps” toward expanding renewable energy and energy efficiency, and promised robust efforts in the upcoming Congress, in which Democrats will have a greater majority and will have Obama in the White House.
“We must … find new and efficient ways to get it [renewable power] from the source to the market,” Reid said at an energy forum hosted by Google and the Third Way think tank.
“We have a great opportunity to abandon the baby steps of the past,” Reid said. “We have to have some giant leaps forward.” He cited areas including solar and geothermal energy, plug-in hybrid cars, efficiency and putting a price on carbon. Reid also said that energy efforts should be bipartisan.
Reid admitted he is concerned that the steep drop in energy prices will sap efforts to develop alternatives to oil imports. He said he does not want to see a repeat of what happened after the oil shocks of the 1970s eased.
“Are we once again going to forget what we are going to face?” he said, predicting that oil prices would again rise. Oil is currently trading at roughly $47 per barrel, less than a third of the $147 per barrel peak reached in July.
PEBO has already made clear that he does not intend to let the drop in energy prices stall his efforts to push the green transition:
Our pattern has been that we go from shock to trance. And, as a consequence, we never make any progress. It’s part of the addiction, all right. That has to be broken. Now is the time to break it.
- A Strategy for Green Recovery
- Green investment does create jobs
- The intellectual bankruptcy of conservatism: Heritage even opposes energy efficiency
- Nicholas Stern: Recession is the time to build a low-carbon future
- “The Green Collar Economy” is a NYT Bestseller
- Green policies in California created 1.5 million jobs
- Mayors report: 4.2 million new green jobs possible
- What would a Green Recovery do for your state?