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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Utility Group Calls for National Climate Policy; Pelosi Urges Action this Session

Edison Electric Institute Calls for Carbon Prices Signals

[From Wind Energy Weekly/AWEA:]

Changing course on an issue key to their members, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) unanimously voted to approve a set of new climate change principles that back economy-wide national policies including price signals for carbon.

The principles generally call for a national policy that would provide certainty within the business environment. EEI President Tom Kuhn said that any federal action or legislation needed to have three components: ensuring the development and cost-effective deployment of a full suite of “climate-friendly” technologies, minimizing economic disruption to customers and avoiding harm to the competitiveness of U.S. industry, and ensuring an economy-wide approach to carbon reductions.

“No matter what path America chooses to address greenhouse gases, success will require an aggressive and sustained commitment by the industry and policymakers to the development and deployment of a full suite of technology options,” said Kuhn. Such options, EEI said, include renewable energy, demand-side management, energy efficiency, nuclear capacity, new coal technologies and carbon capture and storage, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

EEI’s principles generally call for strong action that does not bring major harm to the economy. The document references wind specifically, stating that federal policy should address regulatory or economic barriers to wind’s (and other energy sources’) further deployment. The principles support federal policy that “employs market mechanisms to secure cost-effective greenhouse gas reductions and provides a reasonable transition and an effective economic safety valve.” The principles also call for a long-term price for carbon “that is moderate” and does not harm the economic competitiveness of U.S. industry and fosters the development of zero-emission technologies. Another element of note is that companies’ previous action to limit greenhouse gas emissions should be recognized, the principles state.

“I applaud EEI taking this very meaningful step,” said AWEA Executive Director Randall Swisher. “This will make a vast difference on moving the debate forward. As the U.S. moves at long last toward action on global warming, stakeholders need to understand that wind is a vastly deployable zero-carbon energy source that is available today, and our nation’s policy for climate change should recognize and take advantage of this. That means ensuring that wind generators are directly allocated CO2 emission allowances on an output basis under a cap-and-trade program. Anything short of that does not recognize the full value of wind’s contribution to solving the problem.”

EEI’s release of its principles follows the announcement by the Electric Power Supply Association, a trade group of electricity suppliers representing about one-third of U.S. power generation, calling for “comprehensive, mandatory” federal greenhouse gas legislation.

Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pointed to the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report’s statement that global greenhouse gas emissions must be cut in half by mid-century to avoid major environmental impacts. Speaking before the House Committee on Science and Technology, Pelosi echoed the report’s conclusion that prompt action is needed to avoid those impacts. “We cannot achieve the transformation we need, both in the United States and throughout the international community, without mandatory action to reduce greenhouse gas pollution,” she said.

Pelosi said that she hoped to have global warming legislation clear the appropriate House committees by July 4.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Does anyone realize that Nancy Pelosi has a stake in T.Boone Pickens wind company? Shouldn't she announce this fact and abstain from voting and lobbying her fellow congressmen for this bill?
Also former Pelosi aide, Brian L. Wolff, now has a job with Edison Electric Institute, as senior vice president for external affairs. It was a special position created just for him by this company.
Does this sound fishy to any one else?