At a high profile (or at least well-attended) energy conference in Denver this week, leaders, former leaders, would-be leaders, and possibly a misleader or two have been mulling over how to connect potential new sources of clean energy (for example, solar power in Arizona and Nevada) to customers in California and elsewhere. There was much fretting over the state of the national grid, and further angst over the possibility that local politicians pursuing their own interests might wish to block or reroute the development of new transmission lines across their states. There was a general feeling that the federal government needed the authority to overrule local governments on this.
With dignitaries including former President Clinton, former Veep Al Gore, and Conference participant and so many other luminaries in attendence at the so-called National Clean Energy Project, the competition to provide memorable sound bites was undoubtedly stiff. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), offering to introduce legislation to advance federal authority on this subject, provided this little gem:
We cannot let 231 state regulators [on public utility commissions]hold up progress…. there may come a time when the federal government will have to step in.
So…if Reid is now in favor of trumping state wishes when it comes to important energy projects, can it be that he’s going to start supporting (or at least stop blocking) the important but locally unpopular Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site in his home state?
…and for the full story, please see the following: