The development of abundant, low-cost natural gas supplies in the United States has facilitated a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. But there are concerns that natural gas will crowd out investments in other low carbon energy technologies, such as renewables, carbon capture and storage and nuclear energy. Debate ensues as to whether natural gas is a transition or a destination fuel, largely based on estimates of the cost of incentives to develop and commercialize the next generation of low carbon energy technologies.
In August, six federal regulators proposed a revised qualified residential mortgage (QRM) rule that was largely welcomed by industry and public interest groups. This rule was viewed as an improvement on an earlier draft, seen as likely to unnecessarily restrict access to credit for a large segment of the population.
Co-authored by John Dearie and Courtney Geduldig
Featuring remarks from Congressman Pat Tiberi (R-OH)
President Obama highlighted power plant greenhouse gas (GHG) regulation as a key feature of his Climate Action Plan and directed EPA to issue final regulations for the existing fleet of power plants by June 2015. These regulations will raise a variety of policy and technical issues and will provide opportunities for different approaches to be used by states, which will have a critical role in implementation. To advance constructive dialogue on these new regulations, BPC's Energy Project, along with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), is convening a series of workshops in the coming months.
The creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was one of the most significant changes to financial regulation included in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The CFPB assumed substantial regulatory powers from other bank regulators and was granted additional power to oversee industries and products that previously were not subject to comprehensive federal consumer protection regulation.
BPC’s Health Innovation Initiative hosted a policy discussion on personalized and genomic medicine, information needs, the role that health IT plays, the barriers that stand in the way of progress, and the policies needed to address those barriers. Former Senate Majority Leader and BPC Health Project Co-Chair Senator Bill Frist, MD kicked off the policy discussion, which involved experts and leaders representing the clinical, consumer, academic and research, policy, and technology communities.
The election of Hasan Rouhani as Iran's next president has raised hopes that a diplomatic deal over Iran's nuclear program might still be within reach. Some have suggested that relaxing sanctions is necessary for talks to succeed, while many continue to assert that sanctions should not be relaxed until Iran proves itself to be a transparent negotiator not simply looking to buy time as it continues to develop its nuclear program.
Former Secretary Michael Chertoff, a member of BPC's Immigration Task Force, joined Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform and the North Carolina Farm Bureau to discuss the current immigration reform debate from his unique perspective as the former secretary of homeland security. Secretary Chertoff was a lead negotiator in the attempt to reform immigration laws in 2007 and was intimately involved in developing and implementing border security and immigration policy.
In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Federal Reserve Act this December, join BPC and director Jim Bruce for a screening of "Money for Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve." Narrated by acclaimed actor Liev Schreiber, this independent, non-partisan documentary film examines America’s central bank from the inside out in a critical yet balanced way.
BPC Homeland Security Project Co-chairs former Governor Thomas Kean and former Representative Lee Hamilton presided over the release of the first in an annual series of threat assessment reports. The report provides a comprehensive review of al-Qaeda and its affiliates, as well as other homegrown extremists who may target U.S. interests, and provides recommendations to lawmakers and government officials on how best to counter the threat and protect the homeland.