It seems difficult to find areas of consensus on energy policy these days. For example, energy efficiency once received significant bipartisan support. That’s no longer the case.
Most agree that energy security is a worthwhile goal. However, each Congress, a vast number of pathways toward improved energy security are advocated – tighter fuel standards, expanded domestic oil production, clean energy standards, more nuclear, less nuclear, electric vehicles, natural gas vehicles, flex fuel vehicles, etc. – and very few, if any, achieve lasting, multi-stakeholder, bipartisan support.
In his recent book, “Power Plays: Energy Options in the Age of Peak Oil,” energy analyst Robert Rapier suggests a few areas of agreement on energy security that might be used as the basis for stronger policy.
- Countries that are heavily dependent on other countries for their energy supplies face economic risks that are often beyond their control.
- Given the dominance of oil in the global transportation and manufacturing sectors, the world is likely to be dependent on oil for at least the next two decades.
- Even when supplies can be sourced domestically, an economy built on depleting resources must eventually transition to other sources and/or decrease energy consumption.
Do you agree that these are areas of agreement on energy security policy? If they are, what policies could come out of them? What areas of agreement exist for other energy policy issues? Efficiency? Nuclear? Natural gas? Distribution and infrastructure? Environmental protection? Economic development?