A bipartisan consensus in America is now putting President Barack Obama's signature Paris Climate Accord into action. We have House Speaker Paul Ryan and the President working in lockstep to direct the country into a clean energy future.
The latest piece of legislation lifting the longstanding ban on oil exports set the stage. By removing the export ban, a domestic glut of oil is now beginning to be released into overseas markets. As a result, the price of gasoline within our own county will come down as supply decreases to meet overseas demand. It is why Mr. Ryan speaks of how - 'We can keep our prices low by having more control over the marketplace.'
This global play of American produced oil, inclusive of the export of our existing glut and the resultant lowering of domestic supply and consumer costs, make the torpedoing of the Keystone project patriotic in retrospect. It will also benefit some of the largest corporate gasoline users in our country: Federal Express, UPS, and Walmart - some of the largest employers in our nation.
The lowered cost of oil within the U.S. will begin to move renewable energy toward price parity with gasoline in the United States. This fact is why the passage of clean energy credits within the bill is so important. The Solar Industry is the biggest to benefit. The bill will extend these credits over the next five years. By some estimates, this ramping up of solar credits will catalyze $133 billion of investments by the year 2020. These investments will largely, in practice, benefit the coasts, the Sunbelt and to an extent the Great Lakes Region where the lion-share of solar projects happen.
Another key factor driving up the competitiveness of clean energy is the early retirement of coal-driven plants. One of the main impediments to a clean energy economy coming online has been the legacy of coal fired plants. These plants have sat well within their natural lifecycle, not due to retire often for decades. A significant impact of the Paris Accord is to accelerate that natural lifespan. As a result, markets are already taking the cue, leading to the early retirement of plants and thus the curtailing of another natural competitor to clean energy.
One of the great accomplishments of the Obama-Ryan tax law is the particular way it transforms United States energy policy and moves the Obama Climate Accord largely into domestic law.
It is, for one, a landmark Omnibus Bill, the most important one since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Unlike most of the federal legislation that we have seen since then which is narrow in scope and thus benefits a circumscribed set of interests in the country, an omnibus bill brings together diverse interests into one bill, so that the citizens and the economies of most regions benefit.
Again, with reference to the Recovery Act, that legislation - despite the overwhelming 24/7 news cycle obsession with shovel ready infrastructure projects and other direct outlays of capital - was mainly a tax bill.
The Obama-Ryan bill demonstrates how the United States can transform its energy policy virtually overnight through commonsense bipartisan market solutions driven by the reform of the tax code and revenue positive reforms.