Obama's Energy Policy is Working - Topic A: Energy
Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 22, 2014

Obama’s Energy Policy is Working

John Deutch: “President Obama has put energy and the environment at the top of his second-term agenda. The focus has been on climate change, and on exploiting the unexpected plenty of North American oil, gas and energy technology. The administration’s progress has been notable—especially in comparison with health care, immigration and foreign affairs.”

“The president’s highest priority is to reduce the carbon-dioxide emissions of existing electricity generating power plants. In June the Environmental Protection Agency released an unexpectedly thoughtful and well-supported plan setting specific goals for reducing emissions chosen from a menu of measures such as increased efficiency, emissions trading and fuel switching, mainly from coal to natural gas for electricity generation. The projected CO2 reductions—about 30% below 2005 levels by 2030—are reasonable and shouldn’t significantly increase industry or consumer costs.”

“Ironically, the EPA’s regulations for existing power plants are more realistic than those it has issued for new coal and natural gas plants. The agency has justified its rules for new plants by asserting that carbon sequestration—the capture and storage of CO2 in underground reservoirs—is an “adequately demonstrated control technology.” It certainly isn’t, and it’s also too expensive. But it likely doesn’t matter since no one is planning a new coal-fired electricity generating plant in the U.S. in the foreseeable future.”

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