Christopher Seiple is the Managing Director of RDI Consulting, a firm providing strategy development and market analysis services to the electric, coal, and natural gas industries.
One of the primary objectives of the Bush administration's energy policy is to increase energy supplies, including the supply of electric generating capacity. Opponents of the Bush plan argue that his plan is nothing more than a scheme to fill the coffers of "Texas"-based companies who supported Bush's election. According to RDI's analysis of the plan as it relates to electric generating capacity, Bush is creating incentives that are not needed to ensure an adequate supply of generating capacity. Moreover, rather than enriching generating companies, the plan ultimately may induce significant oversupply in some regions of the country, resulting in low returns for the generating industry.
The Bush administration argues that the United States. will need as much as 393 gigawatts (GW) over the next 20 years. To meet this demand for capacity, the Bush administration has proposed to expedite permitting processes, provide tax credits and accelerated depreciation schedules for cogeneration projects, provide tax credits for new landfill methane projects and certain renewable generation technologies, and provide funding for clean coal and renewables research.