Report identifies challenges in North American energy and environment policy

Nikita (Nik) Nanos, currently public policy scholar at the prestigious Washington, DC, based Woodrow Wilson Center and Director of Nanos Research (a Canadian market and public opinion research organization), has recently published a new report entitled Entering the Energy & Environment Policy Frontier. Based on interviews with opinion leaders, policy research, and new polling data, the report identifies energy policy risks and opportunities in Canada and the United States.

There is much of interest in the report. Among elements that caught GallonDaily’s eye:

  • The current level of [political] partisanship can be an obstacle to moving forward with sound energy policy.
  • Government should not pick energy winners and losers but focus on encouraging competition among energy sources within a common environmental standard.
  • Building a framework for a carbon policy is a key opportunity for energy and environmental policymaking. This is especially true because of the policy interests and jurisdictional roles of states/provinces and federal governments on energy and the environment. Even with the limitations of the current political atmosphere in Congress and increasingly active at the state and provincial levels of government, a National Carbon Policy dialogue between the United States and Canada will need to take place.
  • The process of advancing environmental policy on the summit model, such as that which created the Acid Rain Treaty, is difficult politically in terms of the different legislative priorities in the United States and Canada, the risks related to the negotiation and ratification process, indeterminate in terms of time, and complex because of the role of state/provincial governments in environmental policy and different national legislative priorities in the United States and Canada.
  • 68% of Canadians and 74% of Americans support or somewhat support the Keystone XL pipeline.

The 42 page report, with further interesting analysis of public and elite opinion, is available at http://www.wilsoncenter.org/sites/default/files/WW%20-%20Energy%20Report%20-%20Nanos%20Master%20File%2026-August.pdf

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