House Energy and Commerce to Mark Up Keystone FERC Bill, Keystone as Political Football, ABB Makes Big Investment in EV

Today, the House Energy and Commerce panel will mark up legislation directing FERC to approve the Keystone XL pipeline within 30 days. Republicans have the votes they need to pass the bill from Nebraska Republican Lee Terry.  Two Democrats could also support this bill, Jim Matheson (Utah) and Mike Ross (Ark.).  The GOP plan is that once Republicans move the bill through committee, they will attach it to an energy and infrastructure package expected on the House floor next week.  Democrat Ed Markey will offer an amendment requiring the oil from the pipeline to be kept in the U.S., a measure aimed at driving home Democrats' claims that the pipeline will do little to address domestic energy needs.

The New York Times has a thought provoking editorial by Joe Nocera. His bottom line is that Canada, an ally of the United States, is initiating business with China because the Keystone XL Pipeline has become a  political football in our contry.  President Obama has delayed the decision on this pipeline to appease the environmentalists, an important democratic base in the 2012 election.  At the same time the Republicans are framing Keystone as an urgent jobs and energy project at a time of high unemployment and creeping gasoline prices during the 2012 election.

In about five-years' time the infrastructure side of the EV business will be a billion dollar business," Hans Streng, head of electrical vehicle charging infrastructure at ABB, told Reuters in an interview. The current global market is worth about $50-$100 million he said.  Pressure to cut emissions and reduce pollution in cities has led to ambitious targets for electric vehicle take-up, with some governments targeting as much as a 60 percent market share for electric vehicles over the next 20-30 years.