US House panel approves decoupling policy, grid upgrades
The US House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, in a 34-17
vote along party lines, approved energy provisions in the $825-billion
economic recovery package that include $11 billion in smart grid investments
and policies to encourage states to adopt utility rate structures that ensure
their cost recovery.
The stimulus package with its energy provisions is expected to come before
the full House for consideration next week.
Joe Barton of Texas, the committee's senior Republican, offered an
amendment to remove provisions that would reward states with federal grants
for decoupling retail sales from their revenue. The Democratic majority voted
the amendment down, 33-20.
The provisions also attracted opposition from state public utility
commissioners, who urged Congress to remove from the stimulus package
provisions related to rewarding decoupled ratemaking.
In at letter to House and Senate leaders Thursday as committees marked up
the legislation, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners
said that "these funding preconditions will risk confusion and could
unnecessarily delay effective energy conservation efforts and the delivery of
stimulus funding into the economy....MORE
And from WhiteHouse.gov:
In his first weekly address since being sworn in as the 44th president of the United States, President Barack Obama discusses how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan will jump-start the economy.
"This is not just a short-term program to boost employment," he said. "It’s one that will invest in our most important priorities like energy and education; health care and a new infrastructure that are necessary to keep us strong and competitive in the 21st century."...
Follow the link for video and complete transcript the President's Saturday speech.