U.S. Climate and Energy Policy: What Went Wrong; and What it Means for Global Renewable Energy Technology Development

Elias Hinckley
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, Washington, DC, USA \ Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA

Ladda ner artikelhttp://dx.doi.org/10.3384/ecp110572355

Ingår i: World Renewable Energy Congress - Sweden; 8-13 May; 2011; Linköping; Sweden

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 57:10, s. 2355-2361

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Publicerad: 2011-11-03

ISBN: 978-91-7393-070-3

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


This paper examines the breakdown in discussion and the legislative process in the U.S. Government that led to the surprising failure to enact meaningful energy or climate legislation during the first two years of the Obama Presidency; while his Democratic party held control over the Government; including factors like opposition; the legislative process; the Gulf oil spill; and lack of understanding. From this critical understanding the paper will examine where U.S. policy stands today; and what the likely path forward for U.S. energy and climate policy may be and how those policy decisions absent climate legislation will effect renewable energy technology development and deployment in the U.S. and global marketplace over the coming years.


Policy; Renewable energy; Climate; U.S.; Greenhouse gases


[1] China Tops U.S. in Energy Use; Spencer Swartz and Shai Oster; Wall Street Journal; July 18; 2010.

[2] John M. Broder; As Time Runs Short for Global Climate Treaty; Nations May Settle for Interim Steps; N.Y.Times; October 20; 2009.

[3] Barack Obama; Remarks by the President on the Economy at Carnegie Mellon University; http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-economy-carnegie-mellon-university (Last visited Dec. 15; 2010).

[4] H.R. 2454; American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.

[5] American Power Act Unreleased Draft; http://climateprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/PowerActDraft_051110.pdf (last visited Dec. 15; 2010).

[6] Congress was in session for September and October prior to the election; but doe to the extended campaign period leading into the election there was no reasonable expectation of action during this period; similarly the lame duck period following the election carries additional procedural hurdles that made action impossible.

[7] Office of Congressman Joe Barton; Climate Change and Policy Implications; http://joebarton.house.gov/Issues.aspx?Section=52 (last visited Dec. 15; 2010).

[8] This process; the filibuster; is a procedural peculiarity of the Senate and provides a great deal of power to the minority party to block legislation.

[9] Elana Schor; Election a Rreferendum on Democrats’ Support for Cap and Trade – Boehner; GreenWire; October 5; 2010; http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/2010/10/05/archive/5?terms=boehner.

[10] Press Conference by the President (November 3; 2010); available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/11/03/press-conference-president.

[11] 40 CFR Part 51; 52; 70; 71; Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Title V Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule; June 3; 2010 and 40 CFR Part 52; Action to Ensure Authority to Issue Permits Under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration Program to Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Federal Implementation Plan; August 23; 2010; et al.

[12] Id.

[13] The PEW Charitable Trusts; Who’s Winning the Clean Energy Race? Growth; Competition and Opportunity in the World’s Largest Economies; http://www.pewglobalwarming.org/cleanenergyeconomy/pdf/PewG-20Report.pdf (last visited Dec. 15; 2010).

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