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Daniel J. Weiss and Richard W. Caperton's Posts

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Paul Ryan’s budget plan is very nice to Big Oil

Mitt Romney & Paul Ryan at rallyBig up for Big Oil! (Photo by monkeyz uncle.)

Mitt Romney has turbo-charged his support for Big Oil by selecting Paul Ryan as his running mate. The House-passed Ryan budget would retain $40 billion in tax breaks over a decade for Big Oil while demanding huge cuts in the budget for innovation and clean energy. In addition, the Romney-Ryan budget would provide $2.3 billion in new tax breaks for the five largest oil companies. Here's a reprint of a 2011 post that ran after Ryan first introduced his radical plan.

House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) proposed fiscal year 2012 budget resolution [PDF] is a backward-looking plan that would benefit Big Oil companies at the expense of middle-class Americans. It retains $40 billion in Big Oil tax loopholes while completely eliminating investments in the clean energy technologies of the future that are essential for long-term economic growth.

This budget would lock Americans into paying high, volatile energy prices. It would ensure that millions of clean energy jobs are created overseas -- not here in the United States. It is a path backward to Bush-Cheney Big Oil energy policies that cost jobs and harm American competitiveness. In short, the Ryan plan ensures that we lose the high-stakes competition for the $2 trillion worldwide cleantech market.

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A national clean energy standard is good policy — and good politics

A version of this article originally appeared on Climate Progress.

Do anti-clean energy senators have any idea what Americans want? If Thursday morning’s hearing on the Clean Energy Standard (CES) Act of 2012 is any guide, they don’t. The truth is that Americans support a clean energy target for this country. Senators should listen to the American public and pass this bill.

Let’s start at the beginning. In her opening remarks, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) asked, “To me, the biggest question … is whether Americans really want a CES?”

If that’s the biggest question, then it’s time for the Senate to pass the Clean Energy Standard Act, because the American people want more clean energy.

Read more: Energy Policy, Politics

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DOE Loan Guarantee Program will cost $2 billion less than expected

Cross-posted from Climate Progress.

Take a deep breath, because what I’m about to tell you may be shocking: Loan guarantees for energy have been successful, cost-effective investments.

That’s the message from Herb Allison, former national finance chairman for John McCain, who led a team of accountants and auditors in conducting an independent analysis of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Loan Guarantee Program. Allison and his team found that, despite the hysteria around Solyndra, this program will cost $2 billion less than initially expected.

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Everyone wins with clean energy standards

Cross-posted from Climate Progress. Imagine if we could create jobs, increase renewable energy generation, improve air quality across the country, and reduce our carbon dioxide pollution -- all at effectively zero cost to our economy. Wouldn't that be great? Well, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) just informed us that we can do all of these things, by adopting a strong national clean energy standard. If you were to believe the hyperbole from the fossil fuel advocates, you would think that a clean energy standard would ruin the United States. For example, the Heritage Foundation recently declared that a similar policy …

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The Heritage Foundation is wrong in opposing all federal loans

Government loans create American jobs and help small businesses get off the ground.Cross-posted from Climate Progress. This year, hundreds of small businesses will expand operations with money borrowed from the government. Thousands of 18-year-olds will pay their freshman-year tuition with money borrowed from the government. Farmers will plant crops using money borrowed from the government. And countless communities in developing countries will clean their water with American-made products, or distribute life-saving American-made medications, which they will buy with money borrowed from the government. But, according to the Heritage Foundation, the bankruptcy of one company renders all of this irrelevant. In an …

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CBO: Clean energy standards are an affordable way to cut emissions

It sure would be nice if members of Congress actually listened to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). If they did, they would learn what we've known for quite some time: Shifting to cleaner electricity generation is an affordable and effective way to reduce carbon emissions. The CBO just released a summary [PDF] of seven different types of standards from a variety of sources. The summary uniformly finds that either an renewable energy standard (renewables alone) or a clean energy standard (some combination of renewables, natural gas, nuclear, and carbon capture and storage) will reduce carbon emissions, and that any price …

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Utilities and regulators design energy rates, regardless of the power source

We often talk about electric rates as if the only thing that goes into determining them is the power source. In some sense, this is right: If a utility's power costs go up, and nothing else changes, the price they charge consumers will likely eventually go up. But, this understanding doesn't fully appreciate the role of rate design in determining what the rate will be. When utilities -- and utility regulators -- design an electricity rate, they make numerous decisions that impact the price that consumers will ultimately pay, regardless of power source. Ignoring these other decisions can lead to …

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Paul Ryan’s Big Oil budget halts energy innovation

Rep. Paul Ryan.Photo: Gage SkidmoreCross-posted from the Center for American Progress. House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) proposed fiscal year 2012 budget resolution is a backward-looking plan that would benefit Big Oil companies at the expense of middle-class Americans. It retains $40 billion in Big Oil tax loopholes while completely eliminating investments in the clean energy technologies of the future that are essential for long-term economic growth. This budget would lock Americans into paying high, volatile energy prices. It would ensure that millions of clean energy jobs are created oversees -- not here in the United States. It is …

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progress report

Taking on the global energy investment challenge

Governments can use policy measures alongside relatively small sums of public money to catalyze the private sector to help developing countries finance their clean energy transition.Photo: Center for American ProgressInternational negotiations on a comprehensive climate change treaty made limited progress this year, yet global investments in clean energy in both developed and developing countries alike continue apace. Ironically, there is a positive connection between the two -- despite the slow pace of negotiations to produce a comprehensive climate treaty, the discussions have produced a continuing and evolving commitment in the international arena to help developing countries finance their transition to …