Monday, June 02, 2008

Liveblogging from Windpower 2008: Opening Session (con't)

Next, the fiery and riveting Department of Energy (DOE) assistant secretary Alexander "Andy" Karsner (who was in the wind power business before going to the DOE) spoke passionately about the PTC:

“Take note all you media people out there. The [Bush] administration supports the extension of the PTC. We believe the PTC should be durable, reliable, improved…unreliable policy does nothing more than stave off growth in job creation…If we’re going to use tax policy, we at least have to make it reliable and durable.

But why would the [U.S. House of Representatives] put the same legislation before the president there or four times if you know it’s going to be vetoed but then bury the PTC in it?... It’s an old trick to use veto bait during an election year. The President just wants a clean bill with the PTC! The Senate did it and was more mature about it. Why can’t the House deliver on the same thing?

We want these things to succeed and out of the basket of politics. It is not the government’s role to select electricity winners. We need neutrality of government that ensures delivery of the attributes that we seek.

That means policy that’s carbon weighted and leans to emissions-free sources."

He went to talk about the need of natural gas and wind power to be energy partners (using natural gas as a back up to variable wind power). “We are going to need every drop of domestic natural gas and we’re going to need wind.”

He concluded:

“We are facing a new energy reality. We are in a new and unknown era where we need your leadership. Urgency is what matters. All reports say we have 10 – 15 years to cut emissions to the point needed. We’ve got the first 7 percent of the next 10 years in the last days of this administration. Even if people are taking about lame duck, it doesn’t mean government can sit back and not take action [on the PTC]."

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