November 16, 2010

Richard Powers quoted on how changes in Congress could affect progress with regard to major energy legislation

2 min

Venable Partner Richard Powers was quoted in a November 8 SNL Power Daily article on how shifts in the Senate and House could negatively impact the chance for major energy legislation.

Powers said, "Congressional efforts on climate change have gone nowhere and energy legislation is scattered among various committees, with no real discernable overall plan." He added, "With upcoming shifts in both the House and the Senate, some key committee changes will be made regardless of who takes control. Combined with the huge budget deficits and the poor state of the economy, this means that it will be difficult to enact comprehensive energy or climate legislation."

Powers also said the Obama administration should "be careful not to take actions which will harm our energy security, inflict further harm to our economy and undermine good paying American jobs. This means recognizing our own resources such as natural gas, which can displace imported oil and reduce carbon emissions and trade deficits."

He questioned whether the concept of a clean energy economy has been adequately defined, adding, "While it sounds good to say that we need to transition to a clean energy economy, we need to specifically identify what that means, what it will cost, and how we get there in a transparent, rational manner."

He continued on to say that, "Absent a comprehensive, transparent approach, we run the substantial risk that there will be a hodgepodge of bills passed providing short-term and even contradictory changes or benefits that are directed to certain industry segment or companies, but that will put us no closer to achieving the type of comprehensive energy or climate policy we need in this country."