In the Pipeline: 3/24/11

Chu said wind and solar will be cost competitive with oil by end of the decade, which makes sense because under the plan they promised,  the cost of energy would necessarily skyrocket Yahoo (3/24/11) reports: Clean sources of energy such as wind and solar will be no more expensive than oil and gas projects by the end of the decade, US Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Wednesday…President Barack Obama’s administration has been encouraging companies to invest in green growth, calling it a new source of jobs and fearing that other nations — led by China — are stealing the march…”Before maybe the end of this decade, I see wind and solar being cost-competitive without subsidy with new fossil fuel,” Chu told an event at the Pew Charitable Trusts…”So the country and the companies who develop those renewable energy and resources that become cost competitive without subsidy all of a sudden have a world market. And, boy, we can’t lose that world market,” he said…The US Congress has rejected attempts to mandate curbs on carbon emissions blamed for climate change, with many members of the Republican Party arguing that reducing dependence on fossil fuels would be too expensive.

Former Gov. Granholm plans on taking her economic success in MI to the national stage with PEW because the only thing holding us back is the right “energy policy” Detroit Press Former Gov. Jennifer Granholm will lead a campaign for a national clean energy policy that promotes and helps fund wind, solar and advanced battery industries in the U.S…Granholm has joined the nonpartisan Pew Charitable Trusts as a senior adviser on energy, and will visit states twice monthly to promote clean energy jobs and methods of reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil…That’s in addition to a teaching job she will begin in April at the University of California-Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy…Granholm also is a paid contributor to NBC’s TV show “Meet the Press.”..In an interview Wednesday from Washington, D.C., Granholm said she will use Michigan as an example of how to develop an advanced battery industry for an emerging market for electric-powered vehicles.

What’s in a “Clean Energy Standard”? Here’s a good recap given Sens. Bingaman’s and Murkowski’s recent white paper American Spectator (3/24/11) reports: The white paper questions that Bingaman and Murkowski ask only complicate matters. Because the president was vague on what a Clean Energy Standard would look like, Congress is left to navigate the rippling waters between what environmentalists and alternative energy rent-seekers want defined as “clean.” Free-marketers need not advise, but I will do so anyway based upon reality, instead of the fantastical answers the Senators are likely to get: Q. Is the goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower electricity costs, spur utilization of particular assets, diversify supply, or some combination thereof? A. None of the above, because it cannot do any of the above. Instead it will set up uninformed government meddlers as authorities to dole out favors and tax breaks to undeserving technologies that have capable lobbyists as the only thing going for them.

Democrats in New York are not letting the Japanese crisis go to waste even though Japan recently said they will continue with nuclear energy The Hill (3/23/11) reports: Two New York House Democrats are calling for congressional hearings to investigate the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) relicensing process for aging U.S. nuclear power plants…Reps. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) raised concerns that decades-old U.S. nuclear power plants might not be able to withstand a terrorist attack or a major natural disaster like the one that hobbled nuclear reactors in Japan…The lawmakers called on House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) to hold hearings on the issue. Upton, who has previously called for streamlining the NRC regulatory process, has said he will hold hearings on the Japan nuclear crisis. But the lawmaker has stood behind his support for nuclear power…A meltdown in a plant that is close to a major population center would have catastrophic results, the lawmakers said. And they raised particular concern about the Indian Point plant in Buchanan, N.Y.

It’s too bad we can’t fit our political philosophy on a bumper sticker or even an internet ad Daily Caller (3/23/11) reports: The American Lung Association, a leading opponent of efforts on Capitol Hill to repeal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, has plastered one Republican lawmaker’s district with a particularly provocative ad…Residents in Michigan’s 6th District are being introduced to an ALA campaign that features billboards specifically targeting their congressman, Republican Rep. Fred Upton, who also happens to be the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Upton has also been instrumental in congressional efforts to rein in the EPA’s regulatory authority and authored a bill that would do just that…The Upton bill passed the Energy and Commerce Committee earlier this month, while a companion bill in the Senate introduced by Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe has been attached as an amendment to a small business bill. It’s unclear, however, when the full House or Senate will vote on the measure.

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