A bipartisan group of top energy experts from industry, government, labor, academia, and environmental and consumer groups have released a consensus strategy, more than two years in the making, to address major long-term U.S. energy challenges.
The report, “Ending the Energy Stalemate: A Bipartisan Strategy to Meet America’s Energy Challenges,” contains detailed policy recommendations for addressing oil security, climate change, natural gas supply, the future of nuclear energy, and other long-term challenges, and is backed by more than 30 original research studies.
1. ENHANCING OIL SECURITY
- Increase and diversify world oil production and expand global network of strategic petroleum reserves.
- Reform and significantly strengthen vehicle efficiency standards.
- Provide $3 billion over ten years in manufacturer and consumer incentives for domestic production and purchase of efficient hybrid-electric and advanced diesel vehicles.
2. REDUCING RISKS FROM CLIMATE CHANGE
- Establish a mandatory, economy-wide tradable-permits program to limit greenhouse gas emissions while capping initial costs at $7 per metric ton of CO2-equivalent reduction.
- Link further U.S. action to developed and developing nation commitments.
3. INCREASING ENERGY EFFICIENCY
- Update and expand efficiency standards for new appliances, equipment, and buildings to capture additional cost-effective energy-saving opportunities.
- Integrate improvements in efficiency standards with targeted technology incentives, R&D, consumer information, and programs sponsored by electric and gas utilities.
- Pursue cost-effective efficiency improvements in the industrial sector.
4. ENSURING AFFORDABLE, RELIABLE ENERGY SUPPLIES
- Natural Gas: expand and diversify supplies of this critical resource
- Adopt effective public incentives for the construction of an Alaska natural gas pipeline.
- Encourage the siting and construction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure.
- Advanced Coal Technologies: ensure a future for the nation’s most plentiful energy resource
- Provide $4 billion over ten years in public incentives for integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) coal technology and for carbon capture and sequestration.
- Provide $3 billion over ten years in public incentives to demonstrate commercial-scale carbon capture and geologic sequestration at a variety of sites.
- Nuclear Energy: address the obstacles
- Fulfill existing federal commitments on nuclear waste management.
- Provide $2 billion over ten years from federal energy research, development, demonstration, and deployment budgets for demonstration of one to two new advanced nuclear facilities.
- Significantly strengthen the international non-proliferation regime.
- Renewable Energy Sources: tap America’s technological potential
- Increase federal R&D funding for renewable electricity technologies by $360 million annually.
- Expand and extend from 2006 through 2009 the federal tax credit for electricity production from non-carbon energy resources.
- Support efforts by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to address the need for better integration of intermittent renewable resources (such as wind and solar power) into the interstate grid system.
- Establish a $1.5 billion program over ten years to increase domestic production of non-petroleum renewable transportation fuels.
5. STRENGTHENING ESSENTIAL ENERGY SYSTEMS
- Reduce barriers to the siting of critical energy infrastructure.
- Protect critical infrastructure from accidental failure and terrorist threats.
- Support a variety of generation resources %u2014 including both large-scale power plants, small-scale “distributed” and/or renewable generation %u2014 and demand reduction (for both electricity and natural gas) to ensure affordable and reliable energy service for consumers.
- Encourage increased transmission investment and deployment of new technologies to enhance the availability and reliability of the grid, in part by clarifying rules for cost-recovery.
- Enhance consumer protections in the electricity sector and establish an integrated, multi-pollutant program to reduce power plant emissions.
6. DEVELOPING ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES FOR THE FUTURE
- Double federal government funding for energy research and development, while improving the management of these efforts and promoting effective public-private partnerships.
- Increase incentives for private sector energy research, development, demonstration, and early deployment (ERD3).
- Expand investment in cooperative international ERD3 initiatives and improve coordination among relevant federal agencies.
- Provide incentives for early deployment of:
- coal gasification and carbon sequestration;
- domestically produced efficient vehicles;
- domestically produced alternative transportation fuels; and
- advanced nuclear reactors.
US National Commission on Energy Policy
Washington, DC, USA – December 2004
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