Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Start the Cuts!

A day after the Supreme Court ruled that it was within the EPA's jurisdiction and responsibility to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, President Bush assured the public that he takes climate change very seriously. A sign of change? I was hoping so until I saw this:
... anything that happens cannot hurt economic growth. I care about the working people of the country but also because in order to solve the greenhouse gas issue over a longer period of time, it's going to require new technologies, which tend to be expensive.

Being a hard-core capitalist myself, I appreciate not affecting the economy, but I think there has been enough done by companies such as Duke Energy and Toyota, to suggest that a proactive approach to global warming could be an opportunity rather than an obstacle to greater growth. The US, with its technological prowess, is uniquely capable of leveraging its assets to be the climate change solution provider of choice for much of the world.


But waiting for technology is a mistake! The reality is that the solution is conservation and energy efficiency, not in supporting ludicrous ideas like embracing ethanol (about which I have ranted before). A good start would be a fuel tax or some increase in CAFE standards. Indeed, transportation is the one of the most inefficient segments of our energy market. The chart is from the Department of Energy, and shows that the transportation segment accounts for under 30 quadrillion BTUs of energy consumption, but produces about 500 million MT carbon equivalent! A progressive taxation system, where gas sippers are exempt while guzzlers are heavily taxed would encourage energy efficiency.

It does seem strange for a market-solution lover to be embracing taxes, but that is the only situation when markets don't reflect the true costs of doing business.

1 comment:

reasic said...

Brilliant:

"Being a hard-core capitalist myself, I appreciate not affecting the economy, but I think there has been enough done by companies such as Duke Energy and Toyota, to suggest that a proactive approach to global warming could be an opportunity rather than an obstacle to greater growth. The US, with its technological prowess, is uniquely capable of leveraging its assets to be the climate change solution provider of choice for much of the world."

I can't tell you how many times I've tried to get skeptics on my blog to understand this concept.

Want to exchange blogroll links?