Lately, people in and out of the federal government have expressed nostalgia for the good old days of bipartisan lawmaking. Today, we have legislative gridlock, and an ideologically polarized Congress; back then Congress got things done.
There is some truth to this, but what were the results of bipartisanship?
With respect to energy, the answer is mostly awful.
Here’s a list of some major pieces of energy legislation (and the votes) of the last 40+ years; commentary to follow:
|Bill/Year||Final House Vote||Final Senate Vote|
|Emergency Petroleum Allocation Act of 1973 (EPAA)||348-46||83-3|
|Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA)||300-103||65-27|
|Crude Oil Windfall Profit Tax Act (1980)||302-107||66-31|
|Magnetic Fusion Energy Engineering Act of 1980 (MFEE)||365-7||Acclamation|
|Energy Security Act of 1980 (SFC)||317-93||78-12|
|Comprehensive Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct 1992)||381-37||93-3|
|Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005)||275-156||74-26|
|Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA)||314-100||86-8|
The table shows there was plenty of bipartisanship.…
“It’s déjà vu all over again,” said Yogi Berra. The baseball Hall of Famer could easily have been predicting the coming resurgence of new natural gas–fired power plants. A couple of nuclear plants may actually break ground, but don’t hold your breath. Many more wind turbines will dot the landscape as renewable portfolio standards dictate resource planning, but their peak generation contribution will continue be small (and disappointing).
The most interesting story for 2010 is that the dash for gas in the U.S. has begun–again. In Part II or this two-part report, we will explore the challenges facing nuclear, coal, and renewable energy electricity sources in 2010 and beyond.
Business Climate–Energy Demand
As we enter the second decade of the 21st century and a second year of avoiding an economic collapse, the U.S.…