The Beginnings of a U.S. Energy Policy

This has been a historic week in the U.S. for several reasons – important decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court and President Obama’s June 25th climate change speech at Georgetown University (We Need to Act) and the follow-on announcement on U.S. policy toward financial assistance for new coal power plants overseas.  I had not planned on ‘blogging’ on this latter issue today until I read the attached article in  today’s Washington Post (US policy on coal power plant financing) and quickly came to believe that it was so important that it could override what I had already planned to write about.  I see it as contributing an important and desirable element of an emerging national policy on global warming/climate change and related energy technologies.  Nevertheless, I continue to believe that a long-term, enduring and economically impactful national energy policy requires Congressional action in addition to Presidential administrative action.  In my view the U.S. Congress has been dysfunctional in this regard in recent years, disregarding the long-term interests of the nation in favor of short-term political and related vested interests.  This is a significant change from the 1970’s, when the two major political parties had their usual ideological disagreements but came together, after the Arab Oil Embargo,  to pass energy legislation that was deemed to be in the national interest (Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975/EPCA, Pub.L. 94-163).  I will be writing more about this in future blogs. 

I will conclude this blog by bringing to your attention a recent article in the e-journal Sun & Wind Energy 6/2013 (Energy policy – Scotland).  It touches on the benefits to Scotland of its energy policy, and headlines the article by stating:  “Governments still lacking a comprehensive federal policy on renewable energy and carbon management could learn a lot from Scotland.”  I include the article’s opening paragraph as a further ‘tease’:

“Scotland’s government has made a strong commitment to renewable energy. The small country is now the largest offshore wind market in the world, thanks to  its government, which provides a favorable market through a plan that calls for meeting 100% of electricity demand with renewable resources by 2020.  As a result of that plan and abundant offshore wind energy resources, offshore wind energy may provide half of the country’s total energy demand by 2020.”





I am pleased to add note of Secretary of Energy Moniz’s support for nuclear energy, wherein i see salvation. See his interview in today’s (6/28/13) NYTimes, or go to . If you can’t locate the article, “Energy Secretary Optimistic on Obama’s Plan to Reduce Emissions,” (try Google!), here’s an excerpt:

“Another step, he said, is the completion of new civilian nuclear power reactors at a price and on a schedule close to what has been budgeted. The department is still negotiating a loan guarantee for one of those projects, Vogtle 3 and 4, near Waynesboro, Ga. He said that the four new reactors under construction — the other two are in South Carolina — were only slightly larger, in capacity, than the four reactors whose retirements have been announced this year. In the long term, he said, it was essential that the plants under construction become templates for building more.

By midcentury, when the president’s goal is an 80 percent reduction in emissions compared with 1990, “you have to replace essentially all the nuclear capacity, and build more,” he said.”


Jerry Pell, PhD, CCM

Re “…more info on this”: now two months into blogging and have had over 700 hits and more than 100 publishable comments. Giving back by sharing information and perspectives after a long and rich career is a big part of my motivation, but not all. I enjoy writing and the process of generating Posts and responding to Comments is fun, more than anticipated. Will be doing other wiring as well (silence fiction, children’s books, other professional writing) but for now the blog is primary writing focus. In process of trying to learn how to write for children – career was technical writing for adult peers, and children are an entirely different audience.

wordpress plugin developer

Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you
knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my
newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and
was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something
like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your
blog and I look forward to your new updates.

Thanks for the kind words. Wish I cold be of help on the widget thing but not my area of knowledge. Perhaps another reader can be of help.