Time to Bring Out the Secret Sauce Again?
Steve Mitnick is President of Lines Up, Inc., Editor-in-Chief of Public Utilities Fortnightly, and author of “Lines Down: How We Pay, Use, Value Grid Electricity Amid the Storm.”
Each month, here, in this spot, the History Repeats column takes a look back on the large moments in the history of utility regulation and policy. And in so doing, we look for the lessons of history that might be applicable to the practice of pursuing the public interest in the present and years ahead.
This month let's consider the much-maligned American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Not the whole ARRA. Let's consider a small sliver of the legislation, the ninety billion dollar sliver earmarked "to lay the foundation for the clean energy economy of the future."
The law was enacted eleven years ago, almost to the day. Was it effective? That's the question we take up here. As well as, has the foundation for the clean energy economy been laid?
And, how do its results inform us about further federal attempts to stimulate the energy economy? This is actually a rather important question. Why? The candidates for the Democratic Party's nomination for the presidency have generally promised another round of stimulus to our sector of the economy. And of such a magnitude that it would trump the first round in 2009. Yes, the pun was intended.