Foreign Policy Blogs

Energy Legislation in the House

We are poised for a big and hopefully exciting week on energy in the House.  At “” there’s a good comprehensive read, Energy debate moves to House, on what to look for this week.  As I’ve pointed out, there are a lot of good things that are not going to be subject to much debate, energy efficiency being among the best.  However, the big-ticket items that are still highly controversial are increased MPG for motor vehicles and a renewable portfolio standard (RPS).  The MPG battle, as you know if you’ve been following the blog, is a pitched battle between Detroit and the people who think we owe it to ourselves to reduce oil consumption for any number of excellent reasons, not the least of which is to reduce our GHG emissions.  What makes Detroit particularly powerful in this case is that the chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee is John Dingell, and he’s a staunch , and effective , battler for what Detroit perceives to be its best interests.

Here’s my question?  Doesn’t anyone in Detroit think that they might sell more cars if they had better gas mileage performance?  It sure seems to work for the Japanese!

Here’s another article from one of Pelosi’s hometown papers, the “SF Chronicle” – Energy bill will test Pelosi’s command.  This article’s got great coverage and input from key players such as the two authors of the RPS bill as well as comment from environmental lobbyists from the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Pew Campaign for Fuel Efficiency.  (See these two websites for some comprehensive looks at the legislation and the issues.)

Meanwhile, the House passed a massive Farm bill last week.  There is a considerable energy component.  You can see this fact sheet, 2007 Farm Bill Energy Title:   Investing in Renewable Energy Programs to Promote Energy Independence, to get a pretty good look at what’s in it.



Bill Hewitt

Bill Hewitt has been an environmental activist and professional for nearly 25 years. He was deeply involved in the battle to curtail acid rain, and was also a Sierra Club leader in New York City. He spent 11 years in public affairs for the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation, and worked on environmental issues for two NYC mayoral campaigns and a presidential campaign. He is a writer and editor and is the principal of Hewitt Communications. He has an M.S. in international affairs, has taught political science at Pace University, and has graduate and continuing education classes on climate change, sustainability, and energy and the environment at The Center for Global Affairs at NYU. His book, "A Newer World - Politics, Money, Technology, and What’s Really Being Done to Solve the Climate Crisis," will be out from the University Press of New England in December.

Areas of Focus:
the policy, politics, science and economics of environmental protection, sustainability, energy and climate change