Watching the State of the Union address provided a great reminder of just how many of the most pressing national policy issues we are tackling at the Bipartisan Policy Center, including energy. Several themes of our soon-to-be-released report, America’s Energy Resurgence: Sustaining Success, Confronting Challenges, played a role in the president’s speech, such as innovation, domestic production, and efficiency. For example, we outline options to increase responsible oil and gas production on federal lands and reduce bureaucratic “red tape” – two issues on the president’s list as well.
President Obama kicked off his focus on energy issues with a discussion of innovation – an issue that our American Energy Innovation Council has been fighting for over the last few years. Most recently, the AEIC staff has compiled interviews with 17 R&D company leaders about the policy obstacles they face that hamper innovation. Later this spring, the AEIC staff will release a series of case studies that highlight some success stories that have resulted from federal investment in innovation.
Renewable energy resources and natural gas also got a shout-out in the president’s address, for their rapid expansion and falling costs. These are changing the generation mix of our nation’s electricity, which brings both benefits and difficulties. BPC’s Electric Grid Initiative recently published the product of months of discussions on that very issue.
It is reassuring to hear that what we are diligently working on rises to the level of mentions in the State of the Union address. Now, let’s hope that bipartisanship and continued hard work can propel our reports’ proposals across the policy finish line.