Panel Session - Energy Policy at a Crossroads: Mandate or Markets?
Panel: Tom Craddick - Texas Senate
Steven Hayward, F.K. Weyerhaeuser Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
Dale Klein, Commissioner, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Paul Sadler, Exec Director, The Wind Coalition
Steven Hayward - Little known fact, Texas is the leading state in coal consumption. Indiana is the second. It is a cheap form of energy. But, beware of the coalition forming between environmentalists and the natural gas industry. Just as happened with oil drilling industry (especially BP), the next move will be to minimize natural gas exploration - same as all other fossil fuels.
Dale Klein - Mentioned the rare occurrence anymore of any opposition to nuclear energy. No ongoing protests as in years past. In China, 21 new nuclear energy plants are being built. There will be 61 new nuclear energy plants worldwide by 2015. Concerning Yucca Mountain - the decision by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to store nuclear waste there was the jurisdiction of that commission. It is, by law, not the decision of the President or Congress to make. For any Senator or President to wade into the argument or act as though the decision is one of their's is illegal.
Paul Sadler - Former legislator and Democrat, he advocates for politicians and alternative energy proponents to work together. He is angry when talk centers around all the subsidies given to alternative energy development - especially wind energy. He pointed out that all energy production and exploration receives incentives and subsidies. Wind receives the least of them. He stated that 99% of subsidies went to fossil fuels. He is not opposed to ending all incentives and subsidies across the board.
Tom Craddick - This will be a tough year in the legislative session for the oil and gas industry. The industry must be aggressive and tell its story and not let others do it for them. Local issues are driving thoughts on oil and gas. Texas has a healthy Rainy Day Fund, which comes directly from revenues of the oil and gas industry.