Prospects for clean energy legislation in 2011.
James Y. Kerr II is a partner and co-chair of the energy and climate-change industry team at McGuire Woods LLP and McGuire Woods Consulting. Previously he was a commissioner on the North Carolina Utilities Commission, and served as president of NARUC (2007-2008). Neal J. Cabral and Cameron Prell are both senior counsel with McGuire Woods. Brian D. Vanderbloemen is vice president of federal public affairs with McGuire Woods Consulting.
Prior to the president’s state of the union address in late January, Washington was already abuzz over whether the new Congress would tackle energy legislation, which members might tackle it, and how.
The new Congress, or at least the Senate, began to consider various alternative energy policies right away. Those efforts got a strong boost from President Obama’s address. In the wake of last year’s stalemate in Congress over an economy-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) cap-and-trade system, the Obama administration has seemingly made passage of a clean energy standard1 (CES) one of its main 2011 legislative goals. Events are moving rapidly, and issues such as the unfolding drama over the fate of Japan’s damaged nuclear power plants or the continuing impasse on the budget might overtake some of the discussion, but substantial changes could result if Congress and the administration reach a workable compromise on energy and environmental legislation.
Prioritizing Clean Energy