Capitol Comments

A Congressional Budget Office analysis reported that the climate change bill, the American Power Act, being sponsored by Sens. Kerry and Lieberman, would reduce the federal deficit by approximately $19 billion over the next ten years.  This squares with the EPA analysis which reported that the bill would have a modest impact on families.  However, it still seems unlikely that such a bill will pass this year.

Though I predict climate change legislation will not pass in 2010, it will come to pass, most likely beginning with a utility sector cap.  Thus, it is essential to advance the development and deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) in order to curb coal-fired power plant emissions.    

Shy of 60 votes in the Senate, a still shaky economy, and November elections all lead to the forecast that climate change legislation, featuring a cap and trade element, is unlikely to happen in 2010.

In April I wrote about offshore drilling and how, politically, it wasn’t about the oil, given that the estimated recoverable reserves were unlikely to substantially impact our reliance on foreign sources of petroleum (the EIA Annual Energy Outlook 2010 assumes import reliance will remain near 50% through 2035, down from 57% in 2008); it was about securing votes for climate change legislation. 

Last week I attended the Department of Energy’s Solar Boot Camp at its National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) in Golden, CO.  The 3-day intensive training was held for the energy staff from those organizations that support state officials.

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