As the prospects for a climate bill get dimmer, some in Congress have said the solution is not to limit U.S. emissions but instead invest in green technology (wind, solar or earth's natural heat) that might be able to produce the same energy but with less pollution. Is this a good way to go, instead of setting a legal limit on emissions?
Washington Post Editor on February 3, 2010 6:00 AM
Green technology and renewable energy must be part of a national energy and climate policy. However, the most cost-effective way to transition to a low-carbon economy is through market-based instruments such as cap and trade.
In an op-ed in the Post last month, fellow Planet Panelist Bjorn Lomborg opined that, rather than setting politically difficult limits on carbon emissions that drive up energy costs, governments should radically increase spending on research and development in green technologies.
Posted by Donald F. Boesch, on February 4, 2010 9:21 AM
There is no doubt that investment in new energy solutions must be prioritized. There is equally little doubt that the investment will have to come from companies -- the private sector will probably have to put up 80 percent of the needed investment if we are to meet the urgency of the challenge
Posted by Lars G. Josefsson, on February 4, 2010 6:21 AM
While government subsidies for "green technology" may be a piece of the total picture, the only way to efficiently generate the levels of investment needed to wean the economy from carbon-heavy sources of power is a price signal which could be generated as a tax or, more likely, as a cap-and-trade.
Posted by Richard L. Revesz, on February 3, 2010 7:15 PM
The notion that so called green technologies can significantly replace fossil energy in a large way is a fiction and pursuing that illusion will only waste more taxpayer dollars. The most recent EIA Outlook document forecasts that by 2035 we...
Posted by William O'Keefe, on February 3, 2010 1:20 PM
Politically, subsidies for green technology will be easier to accomplish. They are also a terrible idea. The problem with the energy market right now is precisely subsidies. We subsidize oil and coal to the tune of several hundred billion dollars a year.
Posted by Bernard Finel, on February 3, 2010 11:43 AM
One of the great things about a country that uses capitalism as its economic basis is that multiple companies compete with one another to give the best product or service at the lowest cost to the consumer.
Posted by Rick Edmund, on February 3, 2010 11:21 AM
First, reports of a climate and energy bill's demise in the Senate have been greatly exaggerated. Senators Kerry, Graham and Lieberman are drafting legislation that I think will gain broad support of those that care about domestic energy production on both sides of the aisle.
Posted by Jennifer L. Morgan, on February 3, 2010 9:38 AM