Three Ways The Energy Policy Act Ushered In The Frackopoly

(COMMON DREAMS) Wenonah Hauter — This is a good week to reflect on Dick Cheney’s role in facilitating fracking. Early in the George W. Bush administration, he put together a task force made up of energy industry CEO’s and lobbyists, known as EPACT 2005, which rewrote energy policy.The damage this legislation did is much broader than is usually discussed.

This has become increasingly apparent to me as I researched and wrote my new book, Frackopoly: The Battle for the Future of Energy and the Environment (to be released next spring). The tremendous political power of the energy industry unleashed the tragic policy decisions in EPACT 2005. In fact, their increasing pwer over the past hundred years has locked us in to dependence on fossil fuels and other dirty energy sources. Federal funding was key in developing the technologies that are used for fracking today. Removal of federal oversight of natural gas pricing and changes in the rules around the transportation of natural gas in pipes also helped eventually drive the shale gas boom. Decisions in the 1990’s concerning the deregulation of the electric industry – how electricity is generated, sold on the wholesale market and delivered to consumers – also drove the use of natural gas-fired generation.

But one of the biggest oil and gas industry giveaways happened 10 years ago this week, when Congress passed the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

This giant energy bill had massive handouts and incentives for the fossil fuel, nuclear and ethanol industries, with minimal incentives for renewables and energy efficiency. This bill was largely written by the lobbyists of the oil and gas industry and other dirty energy interests. The long forgotten shyster Kenneth Lay, of Enron fame (or infamy) was one of the leading lobbyists for deregulation of the electric industry and the giveaways to the energy industry in EPACT 2005. Lay and other Enron officials lobbied the Clinton and Bush Administrations for significant deregulation of energy markets that paved the way for fracking—and many of the policies were signed into law by President Bush on August 8, 2005.

Here are three specific ways the Energy Policy Act promoted fracking.

Source: Three Ways The Energy Policy Act Ushered In The Frackopoly | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community