The precise cause of last week’s blackouts is still being investigated. Amidst the unknowns, there are some things we do know: the nation’s transmission grid is antiquated, and, according to the Energy Information Administration, the supply of electric power plants must increase to meet growing electricity demand over the next two decades.
President Bush, with help from Vice President Dick Cheney, outlined these very issues in the National Energy Policy Report (NEPR) in 2001, and their analysis proved prescient. “For the electricity we need, we must be ambitious,” Cheney said. “Transmission grids stand in need of repair, upgrading, and expansion. If we put these connections in place, we’ll go a long way toward avoiding blackouts.”
Environmentalists, on the other hand, have no energy plan–instead, they have blocked development of clean, renewable wind energy off the shores of Nantucket; opposed construction of new power plants; delayed efforts to modernize the power grid; fought to shut down clean nuclear energy (which, incidentally, provides a substantial amount of electricity in New York); opposed New Source Review reforms, allowing utilities to upgrade their facilities in an environmentally sound manner; and opposed President Bush’s Clear Skies Initiative, which not only reduces power plant emissions by 70 percent by 2018, and, unlike competing legislation, does so in a way that won’t undermine energy supply or reliability.
The NEPR made several recommendations, not to mention an explicit call for action, only to be obstructed by the environmental lobby.
Here are some relevant excerpts from the NEPR, demonstrating that the Bush Administration fundamentally understood the nation’s energy crisis and proposed the right solutions to fix it:
Relevant NEPR Recommendations:
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