The ramifications of this week’s election on our national energy economy will be vast. The victor of the presidential battle will determine whether renewables will continue to expand – and the future of fossil fuels. He will shape the future of nuclear power.
In the election’s 11th hour, New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg, with an epic calamity on his hands after Hurricane Sandy, reminded everyone that climate change was largely off the agenda during the presidential campaigns this year.
To help get a fix on the future of national energy policy once the election clouds part, EnergyBiz magazine has assembled a squad of noted experts to meet with me the morning of Friday, November 16 at the National Press Club in Washington.
Clarence Albright– CenterPoint Energy, senior vice president policy and government affairs, past undersecretary of Energy and former staff director of the House Energy & Commerce Committee
Rep. Rick Boucher– former chair of the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet and former chair of the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality
Dan Reicher– Stanford University, former director of energy initiatives at Google, top energy adviser to President Obama and former assistant secretary of energy
Karen Harbert – president and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy
Rep Ed. Whitfield, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power
Join our discussion in person if you can. Or, if you cannot get to Washington, listen in to our live streaming webcast of the briefing – a journalistic first for us. Click here for details.
I asked the panel participants for a statement in advance of the election that captures what they will be thinking about as America votes.
Albright said he is most concerned about expanding our ongoing natural gas revolution.
“One hopes that we will see a more rational and open use of federal lands to develop all of our natural resources,” Albright said. “Policies that treat natural gas similarly to other fuels and that encourage natural gas development will be welcome.“
Reicher Dan Reicher, executive director of the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford, hopes a second Obama administration will surge forward on its energy plans.
“If Barack Obama is re-elected the nation will have a smart ‘all of the above’ approach to energy policy,” Reicher said. “And the president will have four years to get it implemented using the full resources of his administration and working tirelessly to gain congressional support.”
Boucher, now with the Sidley Austin law firm, does not envision an earthquake in energy policy.
“While the election result will indicate whether federal policy in 2013 will favor to a greater extent clean energy (Obama) or fossil fuels (Romney), I don’t think either has an energy plan that qualifies as a clearly defined nation energy policy,” Boucher said.
Our lively discussion will resume Friday November 16. Join us.