Tuesday, June 19, 2007

House Energy Legislation In Development Next 2 Weeks

Jun 18: Representative John Dingell (D-MI), Chair of the Committee on Energy and Commerce and Rick Boucher (D-VA), Chairman, Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality have issued a memo to members of the Committee regarding a set of Committee prints addressing energy efficiency standards, a smart electricity grid, loan guarantees for innovative energy technologies, renewable fuels infrastructure incentives, and advanced battery and plug-in hybrid vehicle promotion. The prints will form the basis for markup of energy legislation in the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality this week and in the full Committee next week.

The memo notes that a number of the more controversial issues such as coal-to-liquids, fuel economy standards, a low carbon fuel standard, various mandates, and the role of Federal and State programs, are not included in the set of prints but will be taken up with comprehensive climate change legislation in the fall.

According to the memo, "This procedure for considering energy legislation at this time was discussed with the Speaker, and she understands the rationale for proceeding this way so that we can rapidly complete work on a bipartisan bill that can be signed into law. As we see in Senate consideration of energy legislation [See WIMS 6/14/07], many of these issues are complex and difficult, and it is our desire to avoid unnecessary delays in passing legislation that can accomplish much good. For example, the energy efficiency provisions of the Committee prints, when fully enacted, will remove from the atmosphere carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to those emitted from all cars currently on the road, according to an analysis by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy and the Alliance to Save Energy. This does not even count any savings from the smart grid or other provisions included in the prints."

Representative Ed Markey (D-MA), Chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and a Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, released a statement in response to the announcement by Chairman Dingell and Chairman Boucher. Markey said, “I welcome Chairman Dingell and Chairman Boucher’s decision to back down from several controversial provisions in their draft energy legislation that would have taken our nation in exactly the wrong direction when it comes to energy independence and global warming.


“The original discussion draft would have overturned the Supreme Court’s decision on Massachusetts vs. EPA [See WIMS 4/2/07] regarding regulation of CO2 emissions from motor vehicle tailpipes. It would have pre-empted California from adopting their own stronger standards, thereby blocking other states from adopting the California standard. It would have put in place weak fuel economy standards for cars and trucks [that] are insufficient in meeting the challenge our nation faces from its increasing dependence on imported oil from the Middle East. And finally, it would have increased emissions of carbon dioxide pollutants by promoting coal-to-liquids fuels. There was broad opposition to these provisions, from Governors, the Attorneys General, and the environmental and public interest community. Twelve Democratic members of the committee, including me, all opposed the draft, as did Speaker Pelosi [See WIMS 6/8/07, subscribers only]. A bill with these provisions in it was clearly not going to become law."

Access the memo (
click here). Access the Committee prints and a section-by-section explanation of the prints (click here). Access the complete release from Representative Markey (click here). [*Energy, *Climate]

3 comments:

YJ Draiman said...

AMERICANS INSATIABLE THIRST FOR ENERGY MUST BE MODERATED R2
By YJ Draiman, Energy Development Specialist

As you know, many serious problems are associated with our insatiable thirst for energy. The reason is simple: To gain the energy we must burn the fuels. The combustion, by the way quite inefficient, causes huge gaseous emissions polluting the air and forming an invisible screen responsible for the famous “ green house effect ”, i.e., blocking the dissipation of heat and thus causing the feared warming up of our planet, with deadly consequences for nature and man.
There is only a finite amount of oil in the world. Everybody knows this.
Someday, we'll run out. It will be gone.
Meanwhile, our insatiable thirst for oil -- which we burn -- has put enormous sums of money into the hands of fanatics who hate us and everything we stand for, and who use that oil money to fund the terrorists who murder Jews and Americans wherever they can.
We can't burn oil forever.
And it's bad strategy to base our economy on cheap oil when we have to buy at least some of it from our enemies.
Optimists tell us that the free market will eventually deal with the problem. Their theory is that as oil gets harder to extract cheaply, the price will go up; then other forms of energy will become economically attractive and we'll switch over to them.
Here's why their optimism is nothing short of suicidal.
First, there's no guarantee that without intense government-funded research and financial incentives now, the new energy sources will be available in quantities large enough to replace oil when it does run out.
In other words, if we wait until it's an emergency, our economy could easily crash and burn for lack of energy sources sufficient to drive it.
It's easy to supply energy for an economy that's only a tenth the size of the world's economy today. The question is how many people will die in the resulting chaos and famine, before new free-market equilibrium is established?
Second, how stupid do we have to be to wait until we run out of oil before acting to prevent its waste as a fuel? Petroleum is a vital source of plastics. We could use it for that purpose for hundreds of generations -- if we didn't burn any more of it. But if we wait till we've burned all the cheap petroleum, it won't be just fuel that we have to replace.
Third, market forces don't do anything for our national defense, our national security. We had a clear warning back in the 1970s with the first oil embargo. What if terrorism in the Middle East specifically targets all oil exports, from many countries?
And even if they keep the oil flowing, why are we pumping money into the pockets of militant extremists who want to destroy us? Why are we subsidizing our enemies, when instead we could be subsidizing the research that might set us free from our addiction to oil?
You notice that I haven't said anything about polluting the environment. Because this is not an environmental issue.
In the long run, it's an issue of whether we wish to provide for our children the same kind of prosperity that we've luxuriated in as a nation since World War II.
It is foolish optimism bordering on criminal neglect that we continue to think that our future will be all right as long as we find new ways to extract oil from proven reserves.
Instead of extracting it, we ought to be preserving it.
Congress ought to be giving greater incentives and then creating mandates that require hybrid vehicles to predominate within the next five years.
Within the next fifteen years, we must move beyond hybrids to means of transportation that don't burn oil at all.
Within thirty years, we must handle our transportation needs without burning anything at all.
Predicting the exact moment when our dependence on petroleum will destroy us is pointless.
What is certain is this: We will run out of oil that is cheap enough to burn. We don't know when, but we do know it will happen.
And on that day, our children will curse their forebears who burned this precious resource, and therefore their future, just because they didn't want the government to interfere with the free market, or some other such nonsense.
The government interferes with the free market constantly. By its very existence, government distorts the market. So let's turn that distortion to our benefit. Let's enforce a savings program. But instead of putting money in the bank, let's put oil there.
Oil in the bank ... so our children and grandchildren for a hundred generations can slowly draw it out to build with it instead of burn it.
Oil in the bank ... so we'll be free of the threat of fanatics who seek to murder their enemies -- including us -- with weapons paid for at our gas pumps.
Do you want to know who funded Osama bin Laden? We did. And we continue to do it every time we fill up.
You don't have to be an environmental fanatic to demand that we control our greed for oil.
In fact, you have to be dumb and a fool not to insist on it.
But ... foresight just isn't the American way. We always seem to wait until our own house is burning before we notice there's a wildfire.
Oh, it won't reach us here, we tell ourselves. We'll be safe.
Talk about foolish optimism.
Fair Threat to World Economy But Oil Boycott Improbable
Energy Efficiency Must Be North America’s Priority but Canada and
U.S. Fail on Energy Efficiency Policies
“The despots of the moderate Middle East are non-players save for
their oil in the ground… My concern is that my grand kids might see parts of the
Middle East turned into a nuclear waste land, and Ali Baba and The Forty
Thieves. The world community needs to see a checkmate within the next 60 -
90 days. Failing that, Iran and Syria will be emboldened.” Reiterating an almost
universal view on the panel, this CEO emphasized that the world’s seemingly
The Chinese contribution to the energy crisis
The quest for resources. The dynamic Chinese economy, which has averaged 9 percent growth per annum over the last two decades, nearly tripled the country's GDP, has also resulted in the country having an almost insatiable thirst for oil as well as a need for other natural resources to sustain it. The PRC has been a net importer of petroleum since 1993, and has increasingly relied on African countries as suppliers. As of last year, China was importing approximately 2.6 million barrels per day (bbl/d), which accounts for about half of its consumption; more than 765,000 bbl/d – roughly a third of its imports – came from African sources, especially Sudan, Angola, and Congo (Brazzaville).
To get some perspective on these numbers, consider that one respected energy analyst has calculated that while China's share of the world oil market is about 8 percent, its share of total growth in demand for oil since 2000 has been 30 percent. The much publicized purchase, in January of this year, of a 45 percent stake in an offshore Nigerian oilfield for $2.27 billion by the state-controlled China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) was just the latest in a series of acquisitions dating back to 1993 whereby the three largest Chinese national oil companies – China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec), and CNOOC, respectively – have acquired stakes in established African operations.
Our insatiable thirst for Middle East energy is “the oil [that] feeds the fire.”
This idea that we can live in a homogenous cul-de-sac suburban development in our plastic homes driving 50 to 100 miles to work in a 4700lb SUV to our middle management job at Bed Bath and Beyond and expect this way of life to just continue on indefinitely with no consequences represents mind boggling ignorance and negligence towards our future. The "American Dream" is a relic of the Baby Boomer generation and will die with our parents and grandparents. To quote author James Kunstler: "Suburban development in this country represents the single largest misallocation of wealth and resources in the history of the planet."

So could a 900 acre photo voltaic array power a major metropolitan grid. No, probably not. But the question isn't how do we squeeze enough energy out of the technology to accommodate our seemingly insatiable thirst for electricity and fuel but rather how do we cut the fat and waste out of our civilization and our lives and actually live WITHIN our environment with some sort of sustainability. There is no one technology that will provide all our solutions. It will have to be a combination of wind turbines, solar and hydroelectric excluding the remote possibility that some new form of energy production (i.e. cold fusion or something equally fantastical) is unleashed on the world by CERN or ET. These power plants will operate primarily at a local level servicing on a much smaller scale than what we here in North America have been so used to in the last 70 or so years.
If the American public's insatiable appetite for automobiles continues, uncurbed by any sense of responsibility, someone must, like a parent with a selfish child, at least start slapping wrists.
Perhaps we should ration gasoline, and insist that all cars meet a miles-per-gallon minimum -- one higher than many sport utility vehicles, for example, achieve now. The rationing would not be a wartime figure, of course, but a reasonable amount allowed for business and pleasure.
Americans consume the largest portion of gas in the world and cry the loudest about the price.
The government should repeatedly increase the price of gasoline in an effort to slow our country's insatiable thirst for oil. Utilize the excess profits and taxes to fund research and rebates for renewable efficiency and renewable energy.
YJ Draiman, Energy Analyst – 6/19/2007

YJ Draiman said...

To accelerate “IMPLEMENTATION of ENERGY EFFICIENCY, CONSERVATION, RENEWABLES and Reduction in the use of fossil fuels”.
The U.S. government can initiate an aggressive program to encourage and expedite these concepts, reduce demand by spurring a revolution in energy productivity initiating:
One promising idea is to make energy efficiency trade-able, much in the same way as we trade oil and natural gas, or, indeed, carbon emissions. A system making energy efficiency trade-able in the U.S. -- companies would be able to sell credits when they exceeded new standards -- would quickly reduce total energy consumption while limiting carbon emissions. Adding a market mechanism to trade efficiency gains would make energy efficiency standards more palatable to industries that have resisted them in the past and expedite implementation of energy efficiency and fuel efficiency. – “Money makes the world go round”.
YJ Draiman, Energy analyst
8/31/2007

Jay Draiman said...

A more efficient and cost effective renewable energy system is needed. R3
A more efficient and cost effective renewable energy system is needed.
To accelerate the implementation of renewable electric generation with added incentives and a FASTER PAYBACK - ROI. (A method of storing energy, would accelerate the use of renewable energy) A greater tax credit, accelerated depreciation, funding scientific research and pay as you save utility billing. (Reduce and or eliminates the tax on implementing energy efficiency, eliminate increase in Real estate Taxes for energy efficiency improvement). Tax incentive and rebates have to be tripled.
In California, you also have the impediment, that when there are an interruption of power supply by the Utility you the consumer cannot use your renewable energy system to provide power.
In today's technology there is automatic switching equipment that would disconnect the consumer from the grid, which would permit renewable generation for the consumer even during power interruption. Energy storage technology must advance substantially. ?Energy conservation through energy storage?.
New competition for the world's limited oil and natural gas supplies is increasing global demand like never before. Reserves are dwindling. These and other factors are forcing energy prices to skyrocket here at home. It's affecting not just the fuel for our cars and homes, it is affecting food prices and it's driving up electricity costs, too. A new world is emerging. The energy decisions our nation makes today will have huge implications into the next century. We must expedite the implementation of renewable energy.
A synchronous system with batteries allows the blending of a PV with grid power, but also offers the advantage of ?islanding? in case of a power failure. A synchronous system automatically disconnects the utility power from the house and operates like an off-grid home during power failures. This system, however, is more costly and loses some of the efficiency advantages of a battery-less system.
We?re surrounded by energy ? sun, wind, water. The problem is harnessing it in an economical way.
YJ Draiman, Northridge, CA
October 5, 2008

YJ Draiman Energy Development Specialist provides expertise in all sectors of the energy and utility industry.
Over 20 years experience. Specializing in: Energy Audit, Telecom audit, Utility bills audit and review for refunds or better rates, Demand Management, Energy Efficiency review and implementation, Renewable Energy, Lighting Retrofit, Solar Energy, Wind Energy, Fuel-Cell, Thermal imaging, Rainwater harvesting, Energy conservation, Ice Storage, Water conservation methods, Energy and telecom audit and procurement.
"Paying for utility costs without using a Utility Auditor and Monitor is like driving a car at night with the lights turned off"
Much is at stake when policy makers, regulators, and corporate executives face the challenges of evolving energy markets and efficiency.

www.energysavers2.com