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Energy Policy Takes Center Stage

Oxford Analytica, Forbes
…Four recent issues have pushed energy to the forefront of policy debate:

Economic fears The U.S. economy may be suffering a noticeable slowdown and higher inflation, in part due to persistently high world oil prices.

Oil security. Concerns are intensifying about dependence on Middle Eastern oil.

Hostile exporting states. Diplomatic friction has increased between Washington and key oil exporters.

Climate change. Public concerns about global warming have increased.

Political leaders in Washington are scrambling for policies designed to address these concerns. In the past, the left and right talked past each other on energy. However, the two camps are increasingly coming together to promote joint goals.

…There is a consensus that transportation issues are critical to achieving oil saving targets. There is also a widespread belief that reducing oil dependency will require increasing the fuel efficiency of the nation’s vehicle fleet.

…Beyond drilling, Republicans tend to favor oil shale development, while Democrats are more inclined to support ethanol. However, lawmakers may be expecting too much of these near-term fuel alternatives.

Political leaders on both sides of the aisle are moving towards a consensus that U.S. oil usage should be reduced by 6 million to 8 million barrels per day by 2025. Regardless which party controls the next Congress, energy policy reform will be back near the top of the political agenda.
(8 Sept 2006)

Windfarms in Guantanamo and solar panels in Iraq – DoD worries about energy

Jerome a Paris, Daily Kos
A round-up of articles about the quickening interest of the Department of Defense in renewable energy

Four 275-foot-tall wind turbines were unveiled last year at the Naval Station at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba, meeting about a quarter of the base’s electrical needs and saving hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel.

Memo to Pentagon brass from the top United States commander in western Iraq: Renewable energy – solar and wind-power generators – urgently needed to help win the fight. Send soon.

… The memo may be the first time a frontline commander has called for renewable-energy backup in battle. Indeed, it underscores the urgency: Without renewable power, US forces “will remain unnecessarily exposed” and will “continue to accrue preventable … serious and grave casualties,” the memo says.

…The DoD, discreetly prodded by smart Dems, is beginning to get it. Will we?
I understnad the ABC frenzy. But let’s not lose track of the other real issues we’re facing. Please don’t forget energy.

In the Iraqi war zone, US Army calls for ‘green’ power
Senate Passes Menendez Amendment To Increase Defense Department Renewable Energy Usage
BREAKING (sadly not): DOE says 99% RENEWABLE electricity by 2020 by besieged by bush
Preemptive War: Future Use & Justification by XOVER
(9 Sept 2006)

I’m not sure that Jerome is right that Democrats are behind the movement of the Department of Defense towards renewables. It seems to me that the DOD may be ahead of the Democrats in developing a realistic assessment of energy. Also, at least Rep. Roscoe Bartlett among the Republicans is lobbying the military for a more realistic energy policy. See the next item. -BA

Nuclear Energy 2006: Status and Outlook (talk Sept 18)

Cebrowski Institute
Admiral Frank L. “Skip” Bowman, (USN, Retired)
President & CEO, Nuclear Energy Institute
will talk on Nuclear Energy 2006: Status and Outlook.
Monday Sept 18th, 2006
6:00 to 8:30 pm
Doubletree Hotel, 300 Army Navy Dr, Crystal City, VA

This presentation will illustrate the performance and benefits of today’s 103 commercial reactors in the United States; examine the prospect for growth in the nuclear energy sector; and review important used fuel policy issues on the federal and state level. Wall Street, congressional and other decision-maker perspectives regarding new nuclear plant construction will be presented while emphasizing the need for expanded U.S. baseload electric capacity as part of a diverse energy policy that meets our nation’s electricity requirements and environmental goals.

Energy: A Conversation About Our National Addiction
An Inter Agency Learning Opportunity

The DoD Under Secretary for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics and the Office of Force Transformation are pleased to invite you to attend the sixth of a monthly series on “Energy: A Conversation About Our National Addiction.” This Conversation series explores the central role energy plays in achieving national and program goals.
The Energy Conversation is open to the public and members of the media. Please forward this invitation to others you think might be interested.

Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, cofounder and cochairman of the Congressional Peak Oil Caucus and Defense Energy Working Group, spoke at the second Energy Conversation on April 24, 2006. More information about his presentation and this series is available at the Energy Conversation website: .

Why is the DoD hosting this series? Just as the Defense Department played a critical role in forging the information revolution in past decades, so can the Department play a similar critical role in fueling the energy revolution in coming decades. Why are you invited? Because there are positive and negative outcomes of decisions you make dependent upon your understanding of energy. We are all stakeholders in addressing the efficiency, conservation, secure sourcing, and cost reduction of energy. It is complicated with no easy answers. There are NO SILVER BULLETS. Come learn with us.
(Sept 2006)