For a long time, critics of carbon cap-and-trade schemes have charged that they are simply another tax gussied up in environmentally conscious dress. The state of California, always at the forefront of green laws, will soon initiate such a scheme as part of the climate-change law AB32, signed in 2006 and described as a “landmark greenhouse gas emissions law” by the Associated Press. Critics of the cap-and-trade program, including oil refiners and manufacturers, say it would impose “enormous costs on businesses at a time when the state’s economy is sputtering.”
Proponents of the program say it will raise $1 billion from about 500 businesses in the state. The program particularly will raise costs for carbon-emission-producing businesses, which will, of course, pass the higher costs on to consumers — as government taxes always are. The California Air Resources Board (it avoids the acronym “CARB,” using “ARB” instead) is in charge of the program. Read more
The federal government is deploying telecommuting and cloud computing as just two of several ways to achieve various sustainable objectives, according to a new report by the nonpartisan, nonprofit Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES). The report, “Leading by Example: Using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to Achieve Federal Sustainability Goals,” highlights eight case studies demonstrating government-wide objectives and benefits of greener operations in the workplace. Read more
Plus: A Common Sense Robot, Safeguarding from Frivolous Lawsuits, Emulating Apple, Unusual Ways to Earn More and Girls’ Engineering Role Models. Read more
Last week, fellow Green & Clean writer David Sims reported on Mitt Romney’s energy white paper, which focused on a goal of American energy independence by 2020.
Romney’s paper proposes speeding up permitting processes for oil wells and solar projects by giving states greater energy regulatory power, and encourages the private sector to lead the way in energy innovation. As well, if the Republican presidential candidate were elected, there would be very little in the way of government subsidies in a hypothetical Romney administration.
So this week, with the presidential election just six weeks away, here is a synopsis at President Barack Obama’s energy and environmental policy and record over the last four years — on issues like energy independence, solar and wind power development, oil drilling and other topics key to understanding Obama’s positions. What would an Obama reelection victory in November mean for the next four years, and what are his plans going forward? Read more