The House of Representatives passed the Energy Bill a few days ago. I was quoted in Red Herring on one area that I think is a huge part of the bill, a federal renewable portfolio standard. Now since the 24 state RPSs have been the main driver behind renewable generation growth like wind - I'd look for this bill to underpin growth in the sector for years.
And anything that drives renewable generation growth will tend to drive a need for more transmission. So chalk up getting our transmission grid in order as a new priority number one (this means we've got to both spend the money, and see government, power, and environmental and community groups working together to make it happen, not slow it down).
Think of it as another interstate highway project. So RPS drives renewables (helping on greenhouse gas emissions). Renewables drives expansion of transmission (if we get out of our own way). And expansion of our transmission grid now will underpin everything we do for the next 50 to 100 years - and full circle becomes a critical pre-condition for many new future solutions that can address global warming from EVs and PHEVs to more renewables.
Which brings me to the climate solution. Increase in CAFE fuel efficiency standards were not really in the House bill, but were in the Senate bill. This bill did address commitment by the government to deal with its own carbon footprint. And as stated, a federal RPS standard will go along way towards helping, too.
But we're still short of a comprehensive climate solution. And our *energy* bill didn't really address either oil consumption, or oil supply (just a rollback of oil company tax breaks guaranteed to drive up pump prices at least in some markets).
So where is the comprehensive energy solution, OR climate solution?
But maybe it doesn't matter, because apparently the threat of a presidential veto hangs over this bill.