Energy Legislation in the USA Richard Wilson Presentation to Permanent Monitoring Panel on Energy August 19th 2010
1946 Atomic Energy act Joint Committee on Atomic Energy 1975 AEC split to NRC and ERDA ~1980 DOE Brief History
1956 - 1970 Eisenhower and Kennedy encouraged plentiful cheap energy 1958 Admiral Strauss “electricity will be too cheap to meter” 1970 popular push for “environment” 1973 Arab Oil Embargo 1973 NIXON proposes an energy policy to reduce dependence on foreign oil 1973 Mike Lubell (APS): “Presidential energy proposals met with a Gigantic Yawn from Congress” 2009 House of Representatives passes Waxman-Markey bill 2010 US Senate fails to pass Kerry Lieberman bill
Basic Issue Fossil fuels are cheap if environmental and military issues are ignored Energy sector is large Subsidy of Desired fuels impractical Taxing and restriction of undesired fuels only possibility
The Stern report This proposes a cap and trade system Things wrong (1) Cap is on emissions of CO2 not carbon (2) A sector by sector approach (3) Industry sets its initial cap too high (give away to polluters)
Problems with the Waxman-Markey bill 1300 pages, How many have read it? All problems with Stern report apply Plus too much “pork barrel” Even Hansen (NASA) opposes
Problems with the Kerry Lieberman bill So many to read, 987 pages. Address three issues at once. (a) energy independence (b) energy shortages (c) climate change Similar to Waxman-Markey but less pork-barrel
INTERNET SEARCHES 1) http://energytopic.nationaljournal.com/2010/06/epa-kerry-lieberman.php 2) http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2010/0517_climate_bill_muro.aspx 3) http://www.greencarcongress.com/2010/05/kerry-lieberman-20100521.html 4) http://www.glgroup.com/News/The-Effects-of-the-Kerry-Lieberman-Bill-on-Employment-48361.html 5) http://news.yahoo.com/s/usnw/20100721/pl_usnw/DC38585 6) http://www.ucimc.org/content/billions-new-nuke-giveaways-kerry-lieberman-bill-exposed 7) http://energytopic.nationaljournal.com/2010/06/epa-kerry-lieberman.php (8) http://www.thebreakthrough.org. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1-5 argue details 6 and 7 oppose nuclear power price guarantee provisions. 8 Michael Schellenberger and Ned Nordhaus argue that the cost differential is too great.
The Cantrell-Collins Bill 49 pages Addresses control at the source of carbon No historical cap Automatically all sectors included BUT Ignored by US Senate
Indirect Legislation Auto fuel efficiency standards Labeling of energy for appliances Mandating efficient use Proposal under clean air act
Hidden Subsidies Oil – cost of military activity in the Arabian/Persian Gulf exceeds the cost of the oil! “The purpose of Nuclear Power is to run our Aircraft Carriers to defend “our” oil supplies from the Gulf” Admiral Zumalt about 1975 Coal – no pollution charge
Possible Indirect Action Use of military bases for development and test of new systems Use of clean air act to control large emitters of CO2
Local Actions that Could be Effective (1) Solar water heating is cost effective in the front range of Colorado with clear weather and high UV content. But it is NOT in Massachusetts. (2) Small hydro, abandoned by big electric utilities 80 years ago may be cost effective in some location if combined with water management (3) Other???