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Murkowski Signals Senate Energy Will Wade Into California Crisis Tomorrow

The Senate's top energy policy legislator, Sen. Frank Murkowski (R-AK), has signaled that his Energy and Natural Resources Committee tomorrow will wade into the California wholesale power crisis and its broad implications. Murkowski said late last week in a wide ranging floor statement on the California crisis that he is concerned that the federal government has incurred some contingent financial liability in the crisis by ordering power to be sold in the state over the last month with no clear agreement on how the power will be paid for.

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President's Brother Says Don't Drill In My Backyard

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) is urging the incoming administration of his brother, President George W. Bush, to reject issuing new leases for the drilling of oil or natural gas in the Gulf of Mexico, citing environmental concerns. The governor argues that the state's economy is based on tourism that depends on a "clean and healthy" environment, and that protection of these resources is of "paramount importance to the state of Florida."

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Use Of Diesel Generators Extended In Southern California

In response to California's power crisis, Los Angeles air regulators lifted operational restrictions on emergency generators used by public facilities, which is expected to increase pollution from diesel exhaust in the area. Under the order, the diesel-powered generators can now operate 500 hours in the calendar year, up from 200 hours.

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California GOP Drafts Legislation Easing Air Quality Restrictions To Boost Power Supplies


The California Republican Caucus is working on a legislative package to boost electricity supply in the state, including at least two bills to relax air quality-related operational limits for several types of power generators, according to sources. But the effort has already sparked concerns by environmentalists about a variety of regulatory and permit relief actions being considered by the GOP lawmakers.

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Industry Lauds GOP Effort To Rekindle Nuclear Power

Nuclear industry officials are encouraged by provisions included in a draft Senate energy bill that could make it easier to build and maintain nuclear power plants in the U.S., sources say. The bill also would allow states to meet air quality requirements through the development of "emission-free electricity sources" such as nuclear plants.

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Agribusinesses Join Fight To Ease Air Quality Rules To Address Power Crisis

The agricultural industry in California is joining a growing group of business interests seeking actions by lawmakers to relieve the impact of the state's power crisis, including relaxed air quality standards and millions of dollars in grants and tax breaks to spur development of biomass-to-energy facilities. Legislative staff and industry leaders this week laid out dozens of recommendations to the Senate Agriculture & Water Resources Committee on conserving energy and boosting power supplies.

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Report Argues Benefits Of Building Large Coal, Nuclear Power Plants

A new report from the Utility Data Institute (UDI) that says nuclear power production costs are cheaper than coal is being touted by advocates as support for a growing interest in building large base-load power plants to ensure against capacity shortages in the age of deregulation.

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Bush Would Ease Environmental Controls To Boost Power Generation

President-elect Bush is calling for a rolling back of environmental standards to address the power crisis in California, which some say may present the incoming administration with its first major policy test. "To the extent that we can help California maximize power production at its plants, we need to do so. If there's any environmental regulations, for example, that's preventing California from having 100 percent max output at their plants, like I understand there may be, then we need to relax those regulations," Bush told CNN on the opening night of his inaugural ceremonies.

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