Are so called clean energy economies paths to future prosperity or to economic disaster? This is one of the big and important political debates of our time, and it has been taking place in many different countries in recent years. Where do you stand in the clean economy debate?
The embedded video is from last week’s debate on the Upton-Inhofe bill (H.R.. 910) to block U.S. climate pollution rules. At stake was the idea that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could either help lead the country into a prosperous and innovative clean energy future, or alternatively, to kill the country’s manufacturing economy and consequently jobs.
It was pointed out by Democrats that it’s a myth that China and India won’t impose limits on climate pollution, as China is moving to implement both taxes on energy intensive industries and cap-and-trade systems to limit carbon emissions. China is also driving a massive expansion of its cleantech sector. India imposed a carbon tax last year and it’s efficiency initiatives are outpacing the U.S.
It was also pointed out that Germany has tough climate and clean energy rules, and has over $41 billion of private investment in the new economy.
Democrats argued that President Ronald Reagan successfully implemented cap-and-trade markets, for eliminating leaded gasoline and ozone-destroying chemicals, and George H. W. Bush successfully implemented a cap-and-trade market to address acid rain.
What are your thoughts on the benefits or otherwise of attempting to develop a low-carbon, clean energy economy?