We’ve all been seeing what Obama believes is necessary for the economic bailout, but what is needed for the climate bailout?
- First, building codes: “California’s energy-efficient building and appliance codes now save Californians $6 billion per year,” Harvey told Friedman
- Second, better vehicle fuel-efficiency standards: “The European Union’s fuel-efficiency fleet average for new cars now stands at 41 miles per gallon, and is rising steadily,” he added.
- Third, we need a national renewable portfolio standard, mandating that power utilities produce 15 or 20 percent of their energy from renewables by 2020. Right now, only about half our states have these.
- The fourth is decoupling — the program begun in California that turns the utility business on its head. Under decoupling, power utilities make money by helping homeowners save energy rather than by encouraging them to consume it.
- “Finally,” said Harvey, “we need a price on carbon.” [Meaning some form of a carbon tax] Polluting the atmosphere can’t be free.
As Friedman writes: “All of [these measures] would pay long-term dividends, because they would foster massive U.S. innovation in new clean technologies that would stimulate the real Dow and much lower emissions that would stimulate the Climate Dow.”