Present Concrete Steps Taken
Since taking office, President Obama has changed the U.S. landscape on clean energy and greenhouse gases (GHGs) fundamentally. Instead of ignoring MA vs. EPA as the last administration did, President Obama has moved forward with numerous steps: sweeping auto efficiency standards, new GHG regulations and a significant new (recovery act) investment in clean energy to name a few.
In addition, unlike in Europe, energy is largely regulated by the states. Part of the reaction to the last administration was major steps forward by states. The regional greenhouse gas initiative is showing that a 100 percent auction policy works and delivers results. In addition, Massachusetts has already returned back to 1990 levels of GHG emissions and is on a trajectory to be at least 10 to 15 percent below them by 2020 (probably more once we institute economy wide measures under our state GHG law). Half of the U.S. has a renewable mandate -- in New England, our competitive energy markets have produced results (our third year in a row with more renewables than mandated) and a large development pipeline and a lot of new jobs.
The U.S. delegation has some things to point to -- including some things that go beyond what other nations are doing. Obviously, we would be in a much stronger position if Congress had completed action on a clean energy/GHG law -- but the reality is such a law would take a decade or more to catch up to what many states have already done.
So, lay the cards on the table and lets make as much progress as possible. The bottom line is we need much stronger federal action, but we are off to a strong start under the Obama administration.
October 8, 2009; 3:18 PM ET
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Posted by: A1965bigdog | October 11, 2009 8:21 AM
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