WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) today unveiled over 50 energy policy recommendations developed by its Strategic Energy Policy Initiative, which is co-chaired by former Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.), former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.), General James L. Jones USMC (Ret.) and former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator William K. Reilly.
Together, they led a diverse group of key stakeholders, including high-level industry executives, scientists, economists, environmental advocates, labor leaders and former government and elected officials through a lengthy, deliberative process.
Noting that the nation is undergoing an energy resurgence – both in energy production and energy efficiency – many energy challenges remain that demand high-level bipartisan attention. Over the last year and a half they have been deliberating on policy options to diversify energy production, improve energy productivity through cost-effective energy efficiency, accelerate innovation and technology improvements, and improve energy policy governance and accountability. The consensus-based recommendations are aimed at all relevant policymakers – state governments, Congress, Executive Branch agencies and local utilities.
“Our country faces great challenges in ensuring safe, reliable, affordable energy to power our economy and meet the needs of our citizens. At the same time, we have tremendous opportunities to improve the way we secure energy supplies and how we use them in transportation, buildings, and commerce. We need to exploit those opportunities and we need to ensure that energy policy is well integrated with environmental policy. Both are essential for the country’s long-term well being,” said former U.S. EPA Administrator William K. Reilly.
“In our November report, we discussed the structural changes and processes required to develop coherent national energy strategy and to provide for its execution through better coordination of energy policies across the federal government,” said General Jim Jones. “Today, in this report, we delve into the policies themselves that we believe help keep our nation economically competitive, strong and secure.”
“Our country is in a very different position in terms of energy supply than it was just a few years ago, and my home state’s economy is flourishing as a result. We must use this era of energy abundance as the ideal time for driving a diversity of policies that can serve as a buffer in more difficult times,” said former Sen. Byron Dorgan.
“It’s true that I’ve always been more of a proponent of ‘traditional’ energy resources and fossil fuels. But through this project – whose deliberative process was not unlike the Senate’s – we were each required to budge a little and keep an open mind so the group could reach a consensus,” said former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott.
“This report is proof that people with strong differences can develop a consensus plan to advance national energy policy. While Congress is not in a particularly collaborative mood, energy policy has often been a source of bipartisan agreement,” said BPC President Jason S. Grumet. “Recent achievements in production, efficiency, and advanced technologies create an opportunity for Congress to legislate from a position of national strength. These detailed recommendations are designed to provide impetus for a serious legislative effort.