December 18, 2009
Hope For A Bipartisan Energy Policy Buzzer Shot?
The White House has postponed a scheduled meeting with a group of bi-partisan Senators to discuss plans for comprehensive energy legislation, and while Republicans have made it clear they plan to unanimously block cap and trade, that may prove to be a good starting place for a non-controversial route forward centered on vehicle electrification, nuclear power and energy technology innovation.
As Politico reported:
Republicans also would press Obama to reach consensus on less aggressive energy options, including incentives for electrification of cars and trucks, more nuclear power and offshore oil and gas production, and research and development for low-carbon energy technologies.
The GOP has several "clean energy proposals which we are for and he's for too," [Sen. Lamar] Alexander said.
Although cap and trade efforts have consumed most of the legislative clock this year and there's dwindling time for any big plays, if Republicans are really willing to support a big technology push Democrats could have the bargaining chip they need to make some real progress, perhaps even mounting a more aggressive push into key technology areas - research and innovation, vehicle electrification, and accelerated deployment of clean electricity sources. This type of bipartisan effort would not be the "comprehensive" solution to our nation's multifold energy and climate challenges, but it would prime the Congressional pump for a greater bipartisan collaboration in 2011...or so one could hope.