Clean energy vs Nimbys on Capitol Hill: no aquí, por allá por favor (not here, over there please)

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By Jay Vincent
Senior Vice President for Energy, The Saint Consulting Group

capital-hillSometimes it’s hard to translate where elected officials stand on energy issues. Jennifer Dlouhy in The Houston Chronicle points out effectively that when it comes to national policy or party versus local politics, tough decisions are still made in defense of the home.

It brings to mind several examples of the NIMBYism on Capital Hill, where it’s all well and good to tout carbon-free emissions and clean energy generation until it impacts your constituents back home. Some key examples:

  • Senator Barbara Boxer and her opposition to transmission lines delivering renewable power to high demand areas in California;
  • Senator Harry Reid and opposition to nuclear waste storage at Yucca Mountain; and
  • Senator Ted Kennedy’s opposition to Cape Wind on Nantucket Sound.

Granted there are examples of renewable projects thriving in the states represented by these particular senators, particularly wind. However, it’s also indicative of the fact that no elected official is immune to local opposition based on unwanted projects back home.

Jay Vincent is senior vice president for energy for The Saint Consulting Group, email and phone 312.970.5770 Ext: 7502

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