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Energy Governance Reform Proposal

John Hofmeister, November 11, 2019

  • The world's largest economy and oldest democracy has never had a national energy and environmental strategy or plan that has established the nation's goals and objectives, processes and procedures to deliver affordable, available and sustainable energy to the American people over the longer term. We have relied through the modern era on tactical responses to near term situations and otherwise relied on industry providers to achieve and maintain our current energy system utilizing political checks and balances along the way that incrementally impact the future of energy and the environment.

  • Examples of energy challenges that remain unresolved: energy independence has been the mantra of the past nine U.S. Presidents from Nixon to Trump. The U.S. imports the same percentage of oil today as in 1973 at seven million barrels/day. The storage of nuclear waste is unresolved, despite two bi-partisan laws in the 1980's and the $20 billion build-out of Yucca Mountain national nuclear waste repository. The future of nuclear energy is a shrinking supply, despite its density and lack of GHG impact. Hydraulic Fracturing with horizontal drilling invites political challenge, yet is the basis for a major shale revolution that has contributed to the nation's economic well-being. Alternative energy requires political production credits without recognition of the intermittency of the supply source relative to storage. Global warming is politicized and despite industry and public policy proposals for a price on carbon for two decades, the nation remains exposed to the effects of climate change.

  • The future, unlike the past, cannot continue on its current trajectory of energy from any source without regard to the waste management implications of such energy and its impact on the environment, especially the GHG effects that contribute to global warming. The nation needs an energy and environmental strategy, plan and governance model to deliver and sustain it despite political cycles that recur every two years.

  • The U.S. economic and social success that has resulted from the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 should be noted from a parallel perspective, considering the U.S. financial oversight by the Federal Reserve Board, that when it chooses the nation can act and resolve issues democratically that impact our national well-being.

  • It is time to leverage the lessons obtained from our financial success to apply them to our future energy and environmental success. The creation of a truly independent federal regulatory agency modeled on what we have learned from our financial governance model should be created in legislation and given the charter to address the following: the nation's future energy supply; future efficiency objectives through technology; environmental plans to address climate change; the implementation of the infrastructure needed to deliver energy from its source to consumption.

  • The Executive and Legislative Branches of the U.S. Government must be compelled by the electorate to deliver energy and environmental security as it has financial security.

John Hofmeister, Former President Shell Oil Company, November, 2019

Permission received from John Hofmeister, November 11, 2019:

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