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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Congressional Black Caucus & Obama Administration

On Energy

The 42 members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and President-Elect Barack Obama are reasonably compatible on energy issues. Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), who represents California's 9th congressional district in San Francisco's Bay Area, has been elected Chairwoman of the CBC. Although Senator Obama missed the vote on the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (H.R. 6) (on the campaign trail), he voted for the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008, which was included in the financial bailout bill (H.R. 1424: Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008).

Senator Barack Obama voted for the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (H.R. 6-different from the other one) and so did 43% of the CBC. Before Obama was elected to the Senate, 92% of the CBC opposed drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR). The majority of the CBC (57%) supported Yucca Mountain as the repository for the storage of spent nuclear waste.

It will be interesting to see how President Obama and the CBC will end up on the energy issues that will be facing the 111th Congress. They will easily agree on Green Jobs and supporting alternative technologies. But how will they fare on coal, nuclear, natural gas, liquefied natural gas and oil issues? It will alsobe interesting to see how the Obama administration and the CBC will agree or disagree on the components of global warming mitigation legislation. The CBC is not monolithic in its views on energy policy. There will clearly be disagreements between President Obama and the CBC just as there are differences within the CBC. One thing is clear though, the CBC and President Obama will do the best they can to assure that America remains dynamic in its production and delivery of energy.

Note: AAEA President Norris McDonald organized the first CBC Energy Braintrust for the late Congressman Mickey Leland in 1981.

To: On Environment

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