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Bipartisan Energy Policy: Consumers, Taxpayers Beware

By Peter Grossman -- January 13, 2015

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.…