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Why I support Obama's Energy bill

If you are driving from Texas to Mexico and driving north, slowing down isn't "solving the problem" it isn't even "improving the situation". You have to turn around.

That's why I support the energy bill. For the first time the U.S. will commit to reducing are carbon footprint. It isn't going to be 40% in 20 years or even 20% in 20 years, but for a country that is increasing their carbon footprint every year, committing to reducing it is pointing the car in the right direction for once.

What really kills me is that the Republicans have the gaul to be against Cap and Trade. For decades the Republicans have blocked environmental laws saying "your proposal is stupid. we should do cap and trade so that the market can fix the problem". I was always very against cap and trade mostly because it had "Republican Trickery" written all over it. However, some economists that I trust have said that it actually works in the countries that have tried it. Thus, I've come around to support it. I've even come to appreciate the science behind why that cap and trade works for carbon but not for mercury. It's pretty cool.

The "let the market solve the problem" people say that the worst legislation is when the government strong-arms people into a particular solution. Cap and trade is the idea for the opposite: the government sets high-level goals, and the market works out the best way to get there, possibly inventing entirely new solutions. One company may buy carbon credits from another one, but some companies might go solar and make megabucks selling excess carbon capacity. That's pretty cool, especially if you have a new idea for solar. It inspires invention and encourages innovation. Great.

But now that we're on the verge of passing a cap-and-trade bill the people that used to use it as an excuse to not do other plans are giving it bad names ("cap and tax") and calling it a heavy-handed strong-armed governmental solution. Nice switch-a-roo, folks.

Well fuck you.

Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.

We used to be a country that was inspired to be better, to innovate and achieve. Now we will spend millions for the right to stagnate.

If cap and trade doesn't become law I will be so freakin' pissed.

For info abou this bill, check out the OpenCongress page: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h2454/show

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Tom, cap and trade *is* stagnation. Trying to reduce carbon footprint is the most expensive possible way to fix the emissions problem, because it's hard. What we need is a massive contribution to primary research in energy, because until there's a cheaper, easier way to produce power, China, India, and the 3rd world aren't going to bite on it. I've seen a number like 0.5% of GDP (as opposed to the current 0.02%) bandied about as critical mass, and cap and trade isn't going to pay for it, because making money on cap and trade depends on the other guys still having to emit carbon. Or am I seeing it wrong?

I think we have everything we need for solar to replace coal (or, enough coal to meet the 17% goal). What is missing is:
  • The will
  • The volume
Cap and trade puts pressure on the system to create the will and then comes the volume.

We can't make energy cleanly when the users want oil (gasoline); but we can make energy cleanly when people want it in the form of electric power. The more cars that switch to electric, and the more (fill in the blank) that use electricity instead of oil the better.

We used to fear Red China (red=communist). Now we should fear Green China (green=cheap clean power). We can beat China economically eventually... but that task will be much more difficult if China "goes green" and is able to power what they do with cheaper, cleaner, power. China knows this and we are in an "space race" to beat China. So far we're only just started racing while China has been hot about this for a decade.

In other news... imagine a world where we have replaced our need for oil (or most oil). That would demolish the funders of terrorism and make the middle east turmoil basically disappear. (I bet even the Israel/Palestine conflict would be much easier to resolve if there wasn't big oil money in the region)

Cap and Trade is a great way to encourage innovation. It gets people thinking in a new way about energy: a way that reflects the realities of the cost of their past behavior. When costs match impact, people's behavior changes for the better.

"What we need is a massive contribution to primary research in energy"

... we do need that, and we also need secondary research in energy at the same time.

Cap and Trade is not only not a contradiction with that, though, it's an ally: It provides a strong financial incentive for private research funding in energy.

"gaul" and "gall" are different things.

Please delete this comment after using it.

For it to actually work, you need caps low enough to cause pain. That is where it went wrong in Europe - they were set far too high.

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