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Archive for the ‘Cap and Trade’ Category

By Shreya Indukuri – ACE Youth Advisory Board Member

Last Monday, I had the great opportunity to go listen to our country’s Secretary of Energy, Steve Chu. After a brief overview of climate change and the reality of global warming due to the human race’s contribution of GHG emissions to the atmosphere, the secretary of energy laid down his thoughts for how the US can transform energy to combat the effects of climate change along with numerous other benefits.

Chu believes that “tens of billions of dollars as a minimum per year [should be] invested [to develop new energy technologies that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.]” The US is only allotting 3 billion dollars TOTAL to be invested in these technologies compared to China, who is investing 9 billion dollars MONTHLY to revolutionize their energy industry!!! Talk about scale.

When asked what students can do to resolve energy issues, he suggested “putting your computer to sleep”, “becoming better informed” and here’s my favorite “turning off the water tap!”

YES, I agree we must all do those things but seriously, there is SO MUCH MORE that we can do! He should be inspiring students to take leadership and discover and implement already existing energy solutions that can transform their school and community. Does he really expect a catalyst for change among this generation if the only suggestion he can give us is to “turn off the water tap and put your computer on hibernate mode?”

Though I was disappointed in the his advice to students, fortunately, Chu understands that the US is lagging very behind in this new upcoming energy revolution and he is eager to change that.

I thoroughly enjoyed the secretary’s new spin of famous hockey player’s Wayne Gretzky’s quote on how he is such a successful athlete “I skate to where the puck will be, not where it’s been.” Chu believes that “we have to get people in the United States to skate to where the world will be” in terms of implementing new energy technologies, not pray for oil prices to decrease.

I certainly will continue assisting students in my community implement a smart energy solution I found to be thoroughly effective but, I hope I can inspire students everywhere to take leadership and transform their community as well. “Turning of the tap” is simply not enough.

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Published by On Line Opinion, Australia’s leading e-journal of social and political debate.

Recently, the Australian Greens challenged the Rudd Government to “break the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) deadlock” by implementing an interim price on carbon. The move no doubt stunned many with its pragmatism and has since won the backing of the government’s former chief climate change adviser Ross Garnaut. While the move may give the Greens a PR boost, the proposal will work to strengthen the Coalition’s recent framing of carbon pricing as a “great big tax”. This of course has implications for Labor’s climate policy agenda in an election year.

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Originally posted at The Real Ewbank.

Australia’s new Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has declared war on the Rudd Government. He has kicked-off his leadership by implementing a polarisation strategy, with the emissions-trading policy forming a central part of the political battlefield. The Opposition’s new strategy provides some insight into the way in which the cap and trade politics might unfold in the United States.

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Kevin RuddLess than three weeks from the Australian Senate’s highly anticipated second vote on the CPRS bill, the Australian Government’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) has revealed new problems with the Rudd Government’s deeply flawed cap-and-trade plan.

Crikey’s national politics correspondent Bernard Keane has found that the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) will require a massive $5 billion of taxpayer subsidies in its first five years, not breaking even until 2022. With the Labor Government releasing this crucial data so late in the game, it’s no wonder that Australia’s policy analysts are finding some interesting surprises.

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manmohan_singhPixIn New Delhi today, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that India must invest in both new and existing clean energy technologies in order to develop sustainably over the coming decades. This comes as the latest indication of India’s progress on building a domestic clean energy economy through investment–a strategy that could also serve as a new approach to international climate policy. Unfortunately, Western nations that stall climate negotiations with their insistence on setting carbon caps continue to miss the world’s best chance at forging a global agreement.

Speaking at a national conference on environment, Singh emphasized the importance of clean energy investment for India’s development:

“…We need access to new technologies that are already available with developed countries. We must also make our own investments in new environment-friendly technologies,” he said.

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MoonwalkYesterday marked the 40th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk, the event which made the US the first and only nation to accomplish one of the greatest technological feats in human history. While space-race aficionados will argue that US-Soviet competition continued beyond the 1969 moon landing, for the layperson, Armstrong’s ‘small step’ marked the end of the space race.

In 2009, a race for clean energy is gathering pace. The dual challenges of climate change and increased economic competitiveness are driving nations to develop new energy technologies that harness earth’s abundant renewable resources. This technology is increasingly viewed as central to our economic fortunes with renewable energy poised to be the next big market. On several occasions President Obama has acknowledged that:

‘The nation that leads the world in creating new sources of clean energy will be the nation that leads the 21st century global economy.’ (more…)

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china-flag-thumb-200x149As Congress debates the Waxman-Markey climate bill, Asia is moving rapidly to win the clean energy race. So warns a new article in the Washington Post today that should serve as a wake-up call to America’s leadership at the highest level.

The new investigative article by Steven Mufson, entitled “Asian Nations Could Outpace U.S. in Developing Clean Energy,” confirms increasingly urgent warnings issued by many, including the Breakthrough Institute, that the United States must dramatically increase direct investments in a clean energy technology push, or be quickly left behind by China, South Korea, India, Japan and others.

Despite Obama’s intentions to increase America’s international competitiveness, the article reports that the amount and scale of investments in renewable energy programs coupled with ambitious renewable energy use targets are putting these Asian nations on pace to surpass programs set forth by both the U.S. economic stimulus package and the American Clean Energy and Security Act, the massive climate and energy bill recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Citing Breakthrough’s Jesse Jenkins, the article warns:

If the Waxman-Markey climate bill is the United States’ entry into the clean energy race, we’ll be left in the dust by Asia’s clean-tech tigers,” said Jesse Jenkins, director of energy and climate policy at the Breakthrough Institute, an Oakland, Calif.-based think tank that favors massive government spending to address global warming. (more…)

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