Part I yesterday addressed the drivers and flawed approaches to current energy policy in many developed Western countries. Part II today describes the rational approaches necessary to best position us to withstand all challenges/threats that face us, both known and unknown.
Time frames are an important consideration in assessing the various elements of sensible and feasible energy policy programs. Here are the periods used in this discussion, which are nominal in nature:
Barring the trickery of a lame duck conference committee, cap-and-trade is dead in the 111th Congress. Some blame President Obama for not taking a more hands-on role. Others blame environmental groups for waging a $100 million lobbying campaign without winning a single GOP convert to the Kerry-Lieberman bill. Others blame the allegedly “well-funded denial machine,” even though proponents, who include major corporations like BP as well as Big Green, must have outspent free-market and conservative advocacy groups by more than 100 to 1.
The August 11 edition of Climatewire (subscription required) featured interviews with Exelon Corp. VP Betsy Moler and Resources for the Future President Phil Sharp, who lament that Republican lawmakers, the “inventors” of “market-based” environmental policy, turned against their own “invention.” Moler and Sharp are trying to spin GOP opposition to cap-and-trade as self-contradictory, hence as unstable, hence as reversible. …
Just what shape is California in?
Several weeks ago, credit default swaps on state bonds were at 200 basis points. Kazakhstan’s were at 170. At the end of 2009, California’s cost of debt was the treasury rate plus 310. Mexico’s was plus 185. The state is temporarily solvent thanks to a great legislative fix: they took an extra month of state income tax withholding from all state workers’ paychecks, which they get back (without interest) in their next tax refunds.
When it comes to gauging the state of California’s government, however, you can’t do better than follow the conflict between Los Angeles’ municipal electric system – the Department of Water and Power (LADWP) – and the city’s mayor and council.
Municipals are an odd American institution, a significant presence of publicly funded entities in a system that is largely private.…