Energy Experts Call for Executive Action on Clean Energy

Clean Energy experts discuss best practices for the president.

Jan 22, 2014 at 1:34PM

This article was written by Oilprice.com, the leading provider of energy news in the world

A group of energy experts released a thick report that details a laundry list of ways that the president can take executive action to push clean energy forward without the need for congressional action. Led by former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, the report published by the Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE) was inspired by a meeting Ritter had with President Obama and other clean energy leaders last year, in which the president solicited advice on how he could lawfully accelerate the deployment of clean energy. Ritter's document, "Powering Forward," lays out over 200 recommendations.

The recommendations fall into five categories: energy efficiency; cleantech finance; natural gas production; integrating clean energy into the grid; and alternative fuels and vehicles.

The recommendations vary from the not-very-new (use federal procurement to purchase energy efficient goods and services), the vague (streamline regulatory process X to speed up deployment of Y), and the all too often recommendation that calls for a new report that will issue future recommendations.

However, there are a bunch of interesting ideas as well.

  • For example, the report suggests modifying mortgage rules such that qualifying for federally backed mortgage loans would require new homes be constructed with updated energy efficiency standards. 
  • Gov. Ritter's report argues that there are significant environmental benefits of increased natural gas production, but calls for a national methane leak-reduction strategy in order to reduce emissions in the drilling process. Such a strategy would be spearheaded by the White House in collaboration with the states in order to "reach an agreement on guidelines that indicate a ceiling on the amount of methane that can be released from the natural gas value chain while retaining the resource's advantages over coal and oil in regard to greenhouse gas emissions."  
  • While light on some detail, the report suggests the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issue new regulations that incorporate the administration's objectives on greenhouse gases. For example, FERC could approve premiums for return on investment rates for transmission projects to those that meet clean energy and climate goals. 
  • Ensuring grid reliability while integrating clean energy is a hot topic in energy circles these days, with many predicting the declining importance of the centralized utility in the coming years. The CNEE report tries to strike a balance, arguing that utilities are key to a "21st Century electricity grid," but that they need to evolve to incorporate more distributed generation. In this regard, the report believes the Tennessee Valley Authority -- a corporation owned by the government -- can act as a laboratory for the "future of the utility" by transitioning to cleaner energy while decoupling profits from electricity sales. 
  • Finally, on alternative fuels, CNEE calls on the White House to develop clear national objectives, which prioritize performance over fuel-specific policies. This would seem to hint at overhauling policies of the recent past like the renewable fuels standard and since-expired subsidies for ethanol.

While there is a lot to the 200-plus page document, and many of the recommendations will never be implemented, they do provide some clues to what the administration might be thinking as it tries to implement the president's Climate Action Plan. Unlike other think-tank documents that often get lost in cyberspace after publication, it appears Ritter's group had the interest of the president from the outset, and given that the launch event featured Obama's former climate advisor, Heather Zichal, one can assume the report is being widely read inside the White House.

2014's top investment 
There's a huge difference between a good stock and a stock that can make you rich. The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for 2014, and it's one of those stocks that could make you rich. You can find out which stock it is in the special free report "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.

 

Related articles on Oilprice.com: 

Written by Nick Cunningham at Oilprice.com.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at www.fool.com/podcasts.

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to www.fool.com/podcasts, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.

 


Compare Brokers