Dude, Where's My Energy Bill?


It’s starting to feel like a mad dash to the legislative finish line. With just days to go before the Thanksgiving holiday, my estimation earlier this week that Congress might wholesale the environmental integrity of the Energy Bill remains a possibility, but overall, as discussions continue behind closed doors, the fate of the bill is extremely uncertain.

Constituents, meanwhile, have decided to make their voices heard. Congress received two letters over the past two days from two separate groups. One was from the diverse consortium of more than 100 businesses and individuals; the other, from a concerned group of investors, many of whom are members of the Investor Network on Climate Risk.

Both revolve around three main issues — better fuel economy, renewable energy tax incentives, and renewable electricity standards. “We call on Congress to pass an Energy Bill that realigns national policies and incentives to stimulate the rapid deployment of clean technologies,” the investors wrote, who together manage $1.4 trillion in assets, CSRWire reports.

The clock is ticking and Congress is itching to head home for turkey. We’ll see how much the letters have an affect on the legislation.


Craig Rubens

Re: Jim

I’ve seen you (or another “Jim” with a penchant for bringing up the issue of sheddable loads) post about this on other wind energy posts.

I just read this report from a study at Stanford that is trying to stabilize wind energy production by linking together multiple wind projects to produce a reliable baseload.

I’m not sure I like the analogy the article uses likening it to having a bunch of hamsters running on wheels (“At any given time, some hamsters will be sleeping or eating and some will be running on their treadmill.”) but the research seems to have collected and analyzed some good data. Check it out and let me know what you think.


RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standards) require either conventional backup or some way of including the amount of sheddable loads on the grid. The backup is expensive, and probably dirty coal. Sheddable loads are possible with smart metering, but much further work is needed in this area.

If a grid region is mandating for say 15% RPS, and only has a backup of 10%, then that grid region is unstable, and could collapse under certain circumstances.

Something tells me Washington hasn’t thought all of this stuff through….

To be safe, RPS should be installed along with sheddable loads of the same capacity. Then when the wind stops blowing, there is some recourse available.

Lorna Li

Hi Craig,

I enjoyed your last post too! As an incorrigible Green activist and midnight blogger, I am watching this situation unfold with dread and anticipation.

It seems like a broad coalition of environmental orgs, student groups, industry coalitions have been bombarding Congress with the message that the 2007 Energy Bill needs to reflect a strong commitment to renewable energy and independence from foreign oil. Even auto industry workers are clamoring for 35 mpg by 2020: http://smnr.us/35mpgby2020/

There seems to be a lot of noise calling for cleaner energy standards in the public sphere, yet what’s really going on behind closed doors. What’s really influencing the legislators if not the wrath of voters?

In the last critical days before the Energy Bill is finalized, send Congress this petition now!



Lorna Li

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