America’s economy—in fact our way of life—is highly dependent on secure, affordable, and reliable energy. Though the U.S. has abundant and diverse sources of domestic energy, our energy challenges are great: we face a complex array of often-competing federal and state taxes, subsidies and regulations; a weak economy struggling to invest/deploy new energy technology; extensive global oil market risks; increasing world-wide competition for energy; and rising global greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental concerns. Confronting those challenges as the U.S. invests in economic recovery and confronts an unsustainable national debt creates difficult but necessary policy choices.
The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) believes there will be an opportunity to influence energy policy after the 2012 election, and that outputs of the Energy Project will have a significant impact irrespective of partisan considerations. The Energy Project consists of several distinct initiatives, described below.
This initiative is supported by a board that includes industry executives, scientists, former government and elected officials, economists, environmental representatives, and labor leaders. During 2012, the board focused on reframing the discussion on energy policy into a coherent debate about the nation’s strategic energy challenges and goals. The board released a consensus-based report outlining its policy recommendations in early 2013.
This initiative will focus on policies at multiple levels that ensure electric system reliability and facilitate the transition to cleaner electricity and new energy technologies. A broad range of experts assessed specific transmission and reliability issues and developed recommendations released in early 2013.
Through BPC’s American Energy Innovation Council (AEIC), BPC will continue to advance a national clean technology innovation agenda with policymakers, the broader stakeholder community, and media. BPC will also broaden its energy innovation analysis, innovation policy, and advocacy portfolio to effectively engage in budget, tax reform, and policy discussions during 2012 and 2013.
Natural Gas. The picture of natural gas as an attractive, but limited, domestic resource has changed dramatically in just a few short years. Through its New Dynamics of Natural Gas Supply and Demand project, BPC will focus on the dynamics of new gas supplies, assess their impact on the energy system as a whole, and explore opportunities to expand natural gas use in ways that improve the economic and environmental performance of our energy system.
Nuclear Energy Initiative. During 2012, BPC will host four public workshops to develop policy options to assure that nuclear energy remains a safe, reliable source of low-carbon electricity, and that the U.S. will maintain technological and diplomatic leadership on international nuclear issues.