Monday, April 19, 2010

Google Climate Chief: Price on Carbon Will Be Economic Bright Spot

In about a week, the new Senate climate change and clean energy bill is apparently going to be released by Senators Graham, Kerry and Lieberman.  You can be as certain as the sun's rise and set that we'll immediately hear a chorus of such blather as "it's going to wreck the economy" and "we can't pass an environmental bill like this during an economic downturn -- it will cost too much."

Nonsense, says Google's climate change and clean energy chief, Dan Reicher, in this Grist article:
Google is thinking about the big global picture. Reicher told me that, "in general terms, a carbon price will do a lot to advance the competitiveness of these technologies that offer serious climate reductions, help for our energy security, increase our domestic fuels, and can create all sorts of jobs."

But the search-engine-plus is also thinking about its own bottom line. It's already got products on the market that help consumers save electricity.

As Reicher puts it, "putting a serious price of carbon will both get us closer to the serious energy reductions we need to make, but also accelerate the domestic development and adoption of these technologies." It's that last part that's good for business. When government holds up its side of the "triangle of technology, policy, and finance" that Reicher says is essential for green development, it spurs the private investment and innovation that keeps businesses strong.

That's where Congress comes in. The most important policy is carbon pricing. That's what will change the economic fundamentals, augmented by other programs -- like energy efficiency standards and government revolving loans to bring new ideas  to the market. The technology and finance sides are ready and able; but we've been waiting for too long for the policy piece that can complete the puzzle.

Google hopes the Senate will act quickly to jumpstart what it thinks will be an economic bright spot in the current downturn.
Again, if you're against the Senate's climate change and clean energy bill, what are you for?  More drilling and continued dependence on oil?  Good luck with that one -- talk to me in 2-3 years when gas is $5-10/gallon, and I drive by you smiling in my plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle, which I've charged via my home solar system.  I see what's coming in our energy future and I'm preparing.  It will, of course, get cheaper and easier to prepare with the right incentives in place, such as the ones that will be in this bill.

The bill's supporters in the Senate are going to have to step up, though, and make a strong case about why passing it is going to make our lives and businesses better, and benefit our environment, economy, health, security and quality of life alike.  Let's hope they've learned how to do it by now...

Read more>>

No comments:

Post a Comment