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  • WebMemo posted July 8, 2004 by Charli E. Coon As Reliable as the Groundhog: Kyoto's Proponents Are Back

    Unlike the pesky cicadas that have the courtesy to annoy the nation's capital only once every seventeen years, misguided legislative proposals are an everyday occurrence on Capitol Hill. The periodic reemergence of a certain piece of irresponsible climate change legislation is no exception.   Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) may try to…

  • WebMemo posted June 15, 2004 by Charli E. Coon The Energy Bill Returns: Still a Missed Opportunity

    Last year's House-passed energy conference report returns to the House floor for a vote this week as H.R. 4503, the Energy Policy Act of 2004. Given the adverse impact that high energy prices can have on consumers and the overall economy, House leadership has, appropriately, included national energy policy as part of its "job agenda."   But while…

  • WebMemo posted May 24, 2004 by Charli E. Coon Pumping Gas: What Consumers See Is Different Than What They Get

    The average retail price for gasoline sold in the United States increased by 7.6 cents per gallon last week. The price per gallon is more than 50 cents higher than a year ago at this time, and the summer driving season, with its increased demand, hasn't even officially started yet. As of May 17, 2004, consumers were paying more than $2 dollars per gallon for…

  • Executive Memorandum posted May 19, 2004 by Charli E. Coon Congressional Mandates Contribute to Higher Gas Prices

    Members of Congress have already received complaints from their constituents about high gasoline prices, and the summer driving season--with its increased demand--has not even started. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects gasoline prices to remain high and volatile throughout the summer months. While government policies are not the sole reason for…

  • Commentary posted March 19, 2004 by Charli E. Coon Energy Bill Still Misses Point

    It would be nice if we could simply order up a round of applause for the Senate for drafting a new energy bill that trimmed $17 billion out of the $31.1 billion legislation the two houses of Congress agreed to last year. But one look at the new bill makes it clear: The Senate will have to wait for its standing ovation. The new bill may cost a lot less, but it…

  • Backgrounder posted March 17, 2004 by Charli E. Coon Energy Bill Too Weighted Down to Power the Country

    The good news is that U.S. Senate leaders have drafted a scaled-back energy bill: the Energy Policy Act of 2003 (S. 2095). The Senate bill would slash about $17 billion from the conference report, the Energy Policy Act of 2003 (H.R. 6), making the 10-year price tag for this package around $14 billion instead of $31.1 billion. The bad news is that the new, leaner…

  • WebMemo posted February 27, 2004 by Ronald D. Utt, Ph.D., Charli E. Coon More Corporate Welfare Embedded in the Farm Bill

    Among the many troubling provisions of the costly farm bill signed into law by President Bush in 2002 were several to provide even more federal subsidies to rural electric cooperatives, which are already heavily subsidized. These co-ops produce and distribute low-cost power and telephone service to those lucky enough to live in the rural areas they serve. When these…

  • WebMemo posted January 21, 2004 by Alison Acosta Fraser, Charli E. Coon A Responsible Energy Policy

    In his State of the Union Address, President Bush rightly called for a reliable energy policy, one that decreases our dependence on foreign energy. Demand for energy is fast outpacing supply, and this imbalance is growing. The path away from dependence does not involve the government selecting winners and losers through mandates, subsidies, and giveaways. Instead…

  • Commentary posted December 5, 2003 by Charli E. Coon An Energy Policy That Makes Sense

    When is a filibuster an opportunity? When failure by the Senate to cut off debate and vote on a $31 billion energy bill gives members one last chance to govern responsibly. It won't be easy. The $350 million in tax-exempt bonds for "green" development projects would have to go. That would mean Syracuse, N.Y., wouldn't get its subsidized-soybean-powered mall. And…

  • WebMemo posted November 18, 2003 by Charli E. Coon The Energy Policy Act of 2003 -- A Missed Opportunity

    House and Senate conferees have reconciled their differences and approved the long-awaited energy bill, the Energy Policy Act of 2003 (H.R. 6).   Though the bill has some good provisions it fails to adequately enhance domestic energy supplies, a major missed opportunity to ensure reliable and affordable energy for American families and businesses.   The…

  • Commentary posted November 13, 2003 by Charli E. Coon Driven To Distraction

    Car commercials these days make a big deal out of government safety ratings. But do these ratings present an accurate picture? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), to the applause of its congressional overseers, puts the pedal to the metal with information based on frontal, side and rollover crash tests. Results are published in ratings…

  • WebMemo posted October 17, 2003 by Charli E. Coon How Congress Can Ensure Reliable and Affordable Energy Supplies

    In its rush to send an energy bill to the President for his signature before the end of this year, there is growing concern that Congress will pass a bill that panders to a host of special interest groups, fails to adequately boost domestic supplies of energy, and is an energy bill in name only.   There is still time, however, for the conferees to improve the…

  • Commentary posted October 7, 2003 by Charli E. Coon Supply = Security

    So, we've arrived at halftime in the big game for America's energy security. Right now, the game is tied. The House of Representatives has approved legislation that includes a provision to explore for oil in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Reserve. The Senate's version does not. The first major energy bill in 10 years has advanced to a House-Senate conference…

  • Commentary posted October 2, 2003 by Charli E. Coon Ahhh, The Grid

    Remember the episode of "M*A*S*H" when Radar was trying to impress a nurse who was a classical music fan? Hawkeye and B.J. trained him to say, "Ahhh, Bach," whenever she mentioned Bach. Inevitably, though, she asked what he knew about Bach, and the truth came out. A similar thing is going on now in Congress. Mention the recent blackout that turned out lights…

  • WebMemo posted September 23, 2003 by Charli E. Coon Electricity Policy: Short-Term Solutions, Long-Term Considerations

    Increases in electricity demand have strained the nation's transmission system. The recent blackouts - leaving millions in the Midwest, Northeast, and Canada without power - underscore the need for capital investments in transmission lines. Regrettably, current policies actually discourage the necessary investment. However, Congress has the opportunity - with the…