Energy & Environment

Liquefied natural gas exports will help, not harm economy, environment

As our nation’s leaders work to improve our nation’s struggling economy, there is one opportunity we cannot overlook: a responsible exports policy.
U.S. Senators and Representatives from across the country have voiced their support for natural gas exports as a unique American opportunity that will create jobs and strengthen our energy security. As Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) noted recently, natural gas exports represent “an opportunity to really help tilt the balance of trade in our favor for the first time in decades.”
Moreover, President Obama’s 2010 National Export Initiative highlighted the importance of expanded exports to create “sustainable economic growth” as well as “good high-paying jobs.” Natural gas exports are no exception.


Protecting national treasures should be bipartisan affair

There's nothing that invigorates Washington quite like a presidential election. But with record sums spent this year, much on negative ads, many in the press have questioned if returning members of Congress will be able to bridge today's partisan divide.

It is worth noting that we have been here before. Fortunately, there is a long tradition of members putting aside their partisan differences to find areas of compromise, even after the most heated of political seasons. America’s public lands have often provided that catalyst.


Energy policy needs to be based in reality, not wishful thinking

Over the last four decades the country has pursued at least seven major energy policy initiatives, all based on beliefs grounded more on illusion than fact: scarcity, independence, security, environmental risk, and government prescience. These have driven attempts to develop alternatives to oil and reduce our reliance on fossil energy. Guided by wishful thinking, they have failed.


Extend wind production tax credit and preserve military biofuels program

As a twenty year veteran of the Air Force, much of my service revolved around issues of energy dependency and national security. Early in my career, I had the opportunity to serve on the National Security Council staff of President George H. W. Bush. There, I witnessed the end of the Cold War and the victory of freedom over tyranny. This was a bipartisan effort over decades. I was there too when we rolled back Iraqi forces from Kuwait, another effort that had broad support across the political spectrum, and I was with President Bush when he attended the Rio Summit 1992, placing a marker with the international community that climate change and alternative forms of energy were a top priority for the world’s leaders. Since the Rio Summit, we have found ourselves increasingly dependent upon fossil fuel, with our national security tethered to unfriendly nations and subject to volatile global markets.  To free us from the whims of distant countries, America must invest in renewable technologies and take advantage of our energy resources here at home.


Congress should act to save nation's wind jobs

Energy is the issue of our time. No other issue will have a greater impact on our future, our air quality, our water resources, our economy, and our quality of life.

The central question is whether we will shape our energy and economic future through sustained strategic investment and development, or whether we will allow other nations’ economic and energy policies to shape us. This is what Congress must ask itself as it again considers the renewal of the wind energy production tax credit (PTC). And for the future of wind energy in America, this question has become increasingly critical throughout 2012 because of Congressional inaction. The wind industry, which directly employs some 75,000 people in good paying jobs in states across the nation, has already lost over 3,000 jobs and stands to lose another 30,000 within the next few months if Congress fails to extend this job-critical credit.


Making progress on climate change at local and global levels

Conventional wisdom tells us that climate change is a global issue, and solving it will require global action. But just as the perfect shouldn’t be the enemy of the good, neither should the global be the enemy of the local. Both are necessary.
Even when it comes to climate change, diverse actions are having powerful impacts. Our new research at the Center for Climate Strategy illustrates that what cities, states and the federal government are doing on energy and transportation policy — from local building efficiency codes to national CAFÉ standards — is generating significant, measurable reductions of greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change.


Getting past the hype behind wind energy

Thursday, head wind lobbyist, Denise Bode of the American Wind Energy Association, (AWEA), waxed eloquently about why extending the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) is a splendid scheme that some of our legislators are supposedly supporting.
When a salesperson says their product is the cat’s meow, be careful that you don’t get caught in the claws.
Bode’s message is that an “All of the Above” energy policy is a terrific plan.


Shades of gray in our energy policy

With the election behind us, it’s time for Congress and the Obama Administration to – as we say in Georgia – “Hunker Down”; stop with the sound bites and campaign barbs, and get serious about putting America’s economy back on track. A good place to start -- a comprehensive energy policy.

While both parties have proposed viable ways to increase American energy production that could form the basis of bipartisan compromise, one idea that needs to be quickly discarded is the so-called carbon tax.


Keystone XL pipeline deserves a second look

It’s been four long years in the making. There was media praise and scrutiny. There were meetings upon meetings to explain how the next four years could be better. And in the end, we supported what we thought was in our national interest.
If only the Keystone XL pipeline could have enjoyed the same fate as President Obama. There are plenty of parallels that could be drawn between this past presidential campaign and the long road the Keystone XL pipeline has been forced down. Fortunately for Mr. Obama, he knew he would have an answer on November 6. But TransCanada and the 20,000 Americans who could be benefitting from new jobs going into 2013 haven’t been so lucky.


EPA could waive ban on Primatene Mist inhalers for asthmatics

For years I have used a common over-the-counter emergency asthma inhaler called Primatene Mist. Like many asthma sufferers who find themselves awake at 2am with an unexpected asthma attack and do not have immediate access to an inhaler, Primatene Mist has been a simple and safe solution to what would otherwise be a costly and time-consuming emergency room visit. Unfortunately this past January, Primatene Mist was forced off pharmacy shelves due to an international treaty agreement known as the Montreal Protocol.