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Decarbonize and the WSJ
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) is hardly a mouthpiece for the left or even the center for that matter. I doubt that Rachel Maddow ever reads it although she may have ‘her people’ do that so she has material.The Monday (11/24) issue of the WSJ had a report from the ‘CEO Council.’ This is a group of business leaders that were convened by the Journal to come up with priorities for the new administration. One of the four topics was energy & the environment. The top two recommendations regarding energy & the environment are:1.Comprehensive energy and environment policy.Put national legislation in place that starts us on the road to decarbonize our economy and to create the most energy-efficient economy in the world. Level with the American people that ensuring an adequate and diverse energy supply in a low-carbon world will not be cheap or easy. But make the case that the transition must be transparent and fair to all Americans, and that linking the economy, the environment and energy policy bolsters security for all three. 2.Decarbonize the power sector.Launch a coordinated strategy to curb emissions from electricity production that recognizes the need for a variety of energy sources. To facilitate renewable energy, allow the use of federal eminent domain to site transmission lines, and increase federal spending to improve energy-storage technology. To allow the continued use of coal, promote carbon capture and sequestration technology by boosting federal R&D spending and by streamlining procedures for the licensing and siting of facilities to store the carbon dioxide underground. To expand the use of nuclear energy, resolve storage issues. To promote all these technologies, create a cap-and trade system for carbon emissions.There is enough in these two recommendations to keep a group of environmentalists and their opponents going for months. If Jimmy Carter read this, I imagine his easy smile broadened considerably. After all during his unpopular time in the White House his policies regarding energy conservation and new technology were accompanied by a substantial reduction in oil imports and carbon emissions.Decarbonize is featured in both of the CEO Council’s recommendation. Don’t you just love that word? Bill Gates does not include it in my automatic dictionary. But decarbonize may just be the verb of this new century.Governor Bill Ritter Jr. has a plan to reduce Colorado’s emissions of greenhouse gases by 25% by 2020. That would be to decarbonize. This includes a shared commitment with other states and nations to even deeper emissions cuts by 2050 (http://www.colorado.gov/energy/in/uploaded_pdf/ColoradoClimateActionPlan_001.pdf). I guess Governor Ritter doesn’t read the Kansas newspapers. Our business leaders at Sunflower Electric filed a lawsuit for the right to carbonize our environment to the tune of 11 million tons annually and sell most of the electricity to Governor Ritter’s constituents. Since the Sunflower lawsuit is pending, perhaps we should offer a settlement. Kansas will no longer deny permits for the Sunflower coal powered electric generation plants but simply delay approval until the existence of new carbon sequestration technology that demonstrates a lack of environment damage. Better yet Colorado could pay Kansas legal fees in the Sunflower lawsuit to demonstrate Governor Ritter’s shared commitment to cut emissions.