As we covered months ago, the renewal of th erenewable energy production and investment tax credits are vital to the industrym which have created jobs, generated growth in new sectors, and provided clean energy. The credits were a singular opportunity (inserted in several pieces of legislation) for Congress to act on tangible, near-term, and meaningful energy policy – but as CAPAF found, partisanship stood in the way.
The blogosphere has reactedstrongly this week. It’s important for people to understand that this is a non-partisan crisis whose potential solutions are being blocked by Republicans who then spin the blame on Democrats.
New study finds House Republicans participating in energy protests consistently voted against energy independence Read more
After a presentation on opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, CNN anchor Ali Velshi hosted a discussion between Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ). Velshi started the interview by making the startling admission that Bachmann joined him on his expedition to northern Alaska:
Congressman [sic] Bachmann, I want to talk to you first about this because those pictures we just showed, we took from an airplane. You were with us on that airplane. You went up there to get a sense for yourself about the impact of drilling in ANWR.
During the interview, Velshi asked Bachmann what lesson she learned from their joint trip. Her response:
Ali, I came away with the idea that this is the most perfect place on the planet to drill.
Bachmann’s bizarre response — she also called the ecologically unique refuge the “most convenient, quickest place” to drill, despite also saying it is “permanently frozen in darkness three months of the year” — comes as no surprise, as she is one of the biggest boosters of Big Oil propaganda in Congress. Just in the past two months, she’s claimed that caribou love pipelines, falsely blamed Democrats for blocking renewable energy incentives, and repeated the lie about China drilling for oil off the Florida coast. In this segment, Bachmann introduces a new lie, claiming “this area was specifically set aside for drilling by President Jimmy Carter for drilling.”
Then, even more than today, much attention was focused on high energy prices; oil companies — playing on Americans’ fears — sought the right to drill in protected areas. While the House held firm, the Senate forced a compromise, without ever putting the fate of the refuge to a vote. Thus, the law I signed 20 years ago did not permanently protect this Arctic wilderness. It did, however, block any oil company drilling until Congress votes otherwise. . . The simple fact is, drilling is inherently incompatible with wilderness.
UPDATE: Velshi’s Arctic Refuge piece first aired July 24, but he did not disclose that the trip was with a delegation of 11 conservative representatives led by Rep. John Boehner (R-OH). However, prior to the trip, he did say in a July 15 interview with Rep. Bachmann:
I should tell you, I’m hoping to join you on that trip this weekend. We’re still trying to work that out.
[A guest post for Climate Progress by a writer with more than 30 years in energy and the environment with government, private industry, and the nation's leading think tanks.He currently works for the federal government and will be blogging in anonymity until he leaves public service.]
New England ISO’s Forward Capacity Market
One of the more serious structural flaws in energy policy has been the fact that utilities can make money by selling electricity, but not by saving it.
As a result, a lot of power plants are built even though energy efficiency measures, on-site generation, and demand response could displace the need for the power they generate, at a far lower cost.
For years, the Holy Grail of utility policy has been to decouple utility profits from electricity sales, freeing them to make money off of efficiency and other low-cost means of providing capacity. Selling negawatts, as well as megawatts, in short.
As with most innovative energy policies, California led the way, decoupling utility profits from power sales in 1982 and ramping the policy up in 2007. Decoupling has been a big reason California has held its per capita electricity consumption flat for 3 decades while the rest of the country’s per capita use has increased by 50%.
In New England, they’re implementing what may be the next generation in decoupling.
Faced with capacity shortfalls, and a fraying consensus among the states in its service area, The New England Independent System Operator negotiated a new approach to meeting demand: the Forward Capacity Market.
FCMs just might become decoupling on steroids. Here’s how it works in New England.
Anyway, you can read my article, “A small cost will avoid catastrophe,” here. And no it doesn’t look like they are online magazine takes comments, so you’ll have to put your thoughts on my article and the others below.
The departure of key Air Force officials is casting doubt on the future of the service’s controversial synthetic fuels program and raising questions about industry’s ability to use the military as a springboard for the development of a fully-fledged coal-to-liquids (CTL) program in the country.
Already, a source close to DOD indicates, the Air Force’s new leadership may be dropping its request to Congress for long-term contracting authority for fuel purchases beyond the five years currently allowed. Air Force officials could not confirm this, but if true it would be a blow to the CTL sector’s hopes of guaranteeing a revenue stream — and hence investment — through the military.
Semi-kudos to the Air Force if they abandon their pursuit of a climate-destroying fuel source for its planes. Here is the rest of the story: Read more
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