Saturday, July 4, 2009

Waxman-Markey: a coursebook in modern energy issues

The intensely controversial federal climate bill, aka Waxman-Markey, which just passed the U.S. House of Representatives and is moving to the Senate, is a coursebook on energy issues.

A long coursebook. It has 1,092 pages. If you want it, it's here.

RaisingIslands downloaded the whole thing, and is diving in. Haven't read the actual text yet—more on that in later posts—but just the table of contents hits all the hot topics.

Keep in mind that this document is still dynamic. It will change with further legislative action. President Obama is pushing for its passage, but it's not clear whether it will make it through the Senate and in what form.

In the version we're reviewing, it covers electric cars, smart grids, performance standards for coal-fired power plants, carbon sequestration, whole sections on energy efficiency, and green jobs.

Hmm, there's some nuclear, some greenhouse gas regulation, and a carbon market stuff.

And lots more.

Have you wondered just what the feds are considering renewable energy to be? Here's the list:

“(18) RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCE.—The term ‘renewable energy resource’ means each of the following:

(A) Wind energy.

(B) Solar energy.

(C) Geothermal energy.

(D) Renewable biomass.

(E) Biogas derived exclusively from renewable biomass.

(F) Biofuels derived exclusively from renewable biomass.

(G) Qualified hydropower.

(H) Marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy...”

And if you're wondering what that final marine power section means, you need to refer to a different document, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 , which defines it like this:

“the term ‘‘marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy’’ means electrical energy from—

(1) waves, tides, and currents in oceans, estuaries, and

tidal areas;

(2) free flowing water in rivers, lakes, and streams;

(3) free flowing water in man-made channels; and

(4) differentials in ocean temperature (ocean thermal

energy conversion).

The term ‘‘marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy’’ does not

include energy from any source that uses a dam, diversionary

structure, or impoundment for electric power purposes.”

In short, waves, currents and OTEC are included.

We'll be reporting more on this as time goes on.

© Jan TenBruggencate 2009

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