National Energy Security Blueprint Reflects State Stakeholder Recommendations

National Energy Security Blueprint Reflects State Stakeholder Recommendations

South Carolina

Last week President Obama announced a National Energy Security Blueprint and a portfolio of sector based policy actions designed to reduce energy dependence and price increases. The Blueprint includes strategies to shift the nation toward sustainable new energy supplies and reduce energy demand through combined federal, state and local actions.

The proposals in the Blueprint overlap significantly with stakeholder recommendations developed through comprehensive state level energy and climate action plans in the US in the last decade. It documents 49 current national initiatives already implemented or planned by the federal government, 39 of which are found in the recommendations of 22 state plans led by the Center for Climate Strategies (CCS). The Blueprint proposed 48 additional “new” national policy action proposals, 32 of which can be found within state action plan recommendations, and in varying levels of implementation at the state and local level across the US.

The linkage between development of sub national and national policy development is common in the US and well documented in the energy and climate policy arena (see related studies in the CCS website library). For example, the State of New York is currently engaged in a comprehensive energy and climate action plan process with assistance by CCS, Initial recommendations include a proposed Low Carbon Portfolio Standard that mirrors, in detail, the President’s proposed Clean Energy Standard. The New York LCPS is estimated to be the most effective single measure to reduce fossil fuel emissions in the interim report to the New York Governor.

Nine of the President’s initiatives fall within the policy set CCS identifies as Demand Side Management (DSM). These measures ubiquitous among all state action plans, and are the most cost effective measures in the portfolio of recommendations. CCS has determined that DSM policies would achieve these reductions at a direct savings of $10.6 billion to the national economy in 2020; create 545,000 new jobs; and boost the US Gross Domestic Product by $188 billion between 2010 and 2020. This assumes the relatively modest application of these policies consistent with Administration targets.

In 2007, South Carolina proposed an almost identical set of demand side policies as proposed in the President’s Blueprint. While specific details of the policies differ, measures that are common to both plans include DSM programs, appliance efficiency standards, building code enhancement, improved training for building operators, promotion of combined heat and power systems, voluntary industrial / government partnerships, promotion of renewable energy systems, and government “lead by example” programs, especially in government buildings. Many other state plans have recommended similar policies since then.

The results of nationwide implementation of stakeholder recommendations within state plans were summarized in the 2010 CCS report titled “Impacts of Comprehensive Climate and Energy Policy on the US Economy,” published jointly by CCS and Johns Hopkins University. This assessment includes detailed economic and environmental analysis of a portfolio of 23 major, sector based policy strategies drawn from state action plans that comprise over 90 percent of the potential for all state level recommendations to reduce energy dependence and greenhouse gas emissions.

Macroeconomic analysis of the national scale up and combined federal, state and local implementation of these 23 actions shows expansion of the US economy by nearly $200 billion by 2020 and emissions reductions of 1.7 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide or its equivalents under a scenario that is consistent with emissions reductions targets proposed by the Obama Administration. More than 65 percent of the 23 major actions identified in this national study are contained in the President’s Blueprint.

Additional April 2011 ClimateLine Newsletter articles can be found here:

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