On Tuesday, January 28, 2014, the American Security Project hosted an event titled “Energy Choices 2014 – The Choices We Face for a Strong & Secure America”, with speakers, Todd Foley, Senior VP of Policy and Government Relations, American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), Scott Peterson, Senior Vice President of Communication, Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), and David Wochner, Partner, K&L Gates.
In the opening comments, Andrew Holland, ASP’s senior fellow for Climate and Energy, suggested the history of energy transitions often occur abruptly, alluding to the current shale oil boom taking place in the United States. Holland pointed out the discussion regarding energy in the U.S. has managed to coast on choices that were made in the 1970s. The theme of the event circulated around this notion that an energy policy choice must be made if the U.S. is to move forward in the coming decade.
Speaking directly to this choice, Wochner stated that the U.S. must recognize the advantage they have in human capital and natural resources. The U.S. has the most robust inter- and intra- state pipeline infrastructure in the world. Production and the technical know-how are in place. The impediments are coming from the Department of Energy which is creating further uncertainty and delay in the market. For Wocher the concern was not regulation – as he suggested regulation is quite American – rather the inconsistency in regulation and the lack of certainty on U.S. energy policy.
You can find the full report here: America’s Energy Choices 2014
Foley suggested a similar point. As the trajectory of energy is highly dependent on policy from the government, the lag associated with policy formulation and market innovation creates gaps that “chill the market.” Foley pointed out despite the boom in natural gas in the U.S., the U.S. has become the “Saudi Arabia of renewable energy.” Therefore an increasing emphasis on diversity of supply is not only a pinnacle of energy security, but a viable long-term strategy for the climate.
Peterson posited a parallel point suggesting energy diversity is necessary for safeguarding the base load of energy output during supply shocks and additionally meeting climate goals. Alongside renewable energy and hydrocarbons, nuclear energy plays a substantial role in price stability and clean energy generation.
All three speakers were in consensus regarding the energy landscape in the United States. The discussion regarding what choices need to me made are influenced by the transformations we are seeing take place in the global energy market. To rejuvenate U.S. energy policy a discussion concerning energy security, economic stability and environmental sustainability must take place.
You can listen to or watch the event here: