In just a few short years, the United States has become the world’s number one oil and natural gas producer, and is well on its way to no longer relying on energy from countries that are historically hostile to U.S. interests.
Energy & Environment
Economists say things are getting better and people are going back to work. But there is another side to the story.
Can this Congress pass significant energy legislation? Recent signs--including the demise in the Senate of an efficiency bill--are not encouraging.
Yet when major energy legislation was being written in 2005, in a Republican Congress, and in 2007, with Democrats in control, both bills attracted bipartisan support because their sponsors made sure they reflected widely-shared goals regarding energy policy.
In West, Texas a massive ammonium nitrate explosion rocked a fertilizer facility, leaving 15 people dead -- including 11 fire fighters -- and hundreds of citizens injured. The explosion destroyed the facility, leveled scores of homes, a school and a nursing home within the blast zone. And the toll could have been worse had the fire and explosion occurred several hours earlier during school time.
We now know a hole-filled patchwork of regulations and enforcement was not enough to prevent the West, Texas disaster.
The United States has a good story to tell. Over the last decade we have seen a boom in American energy production that has been a game-changer for the U.S. economy. Private sector innovation and advanced technologies have transformed our energy landscape, given birth to an American manufacturing renaissance, and spurred the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs. But there is another news story about to catch fire that threatens to change the rules of the game in a different way—the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) sweeping regulatory agenda, which stands to bring America’s energy revolution and economic recovery to a screeching halt.
For me, clean air isn’t an abstract concept. I grew up in a polluted town and struggled with childhood asthma. I know what it means to be forced to breathe dirty air.
The business of passing legislation seems almost old fashioned in Washington today. Rifts between and even within the parties have brought the machine that used to make laws to a virtual standstill.
But deep inside, a few wheels are still turning in the unlikeliest of places.
On Monday, Nov. 11, representatives of 195 nations will convene in Warsaw as the United Nations climate change negotiations begin their 19th annual meeting. Many climate experts in the U.S. have written off the UN process after years of dysfunction and limited results. But there is now a glimmer of hope that for the first time an agreement can be reached by 2015 in which all major economies reduce or slow their greenhouse emissions.
Sen. Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, lately key architect and strategist of the federal government shutdown, and champion of slashing spending of all kinds, had the good fortune to spend the opening day of Iowa’s 2013 pheasant hunting season at a premier western Iowa hunting lodge, whose best acres are conserved with a big assist from federal Farm Bill conservation programs.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) listening tour will arrive in Washington D.C. today (Nov. 7) to encourage the public to provide its feedback regarding upcoming carbon limits for the nation's existing fleet of power plants. These regulations stand to shutter coal-fired plants across the country and force thousands out of jobs.
Jobs like the 240 at Massachusetts-based Brayton Point Power Station—the 150th coal plant to close its doors as a result of these harmful regulations.