Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Punishing 'Green' States

Following the EPA's release of its design for regulating utility GHGs, the Senate is addressing the issue with renewed gusto. However, increased disbelief in climate change and adamant Republican opposition means a lot needs to happen for this bill to pass (in the end, Republicans would rather give the EPA greater control over utilities than accede to compromise).

So, what does a new bill need to guarantee passage? For starters, lots of giveaways to coal plants and pork to Senators on the fence. Liberal states like New York, Oregon, and California will receive fewer permit giveaways or other forms of financial assistance. Therefore, they will be subsidizing Oklahoma's coal plants after already investing in their own renewable energy and efficiency projects. On top of this, as a general rule you're also talking about the states with higher rates of productivity, ergo higher tax remittances.

Summary: states that pay the most in taxes will be funding pork projects in states that failed to take adequate steps to protect the environment in order to achieve votes necessary to regulate coal plants that will be exempt from regulations in the highest polluting states. Such is the danger of being a first mover when assistance is made available to actors that wait. Who else is excited about climate legislation finally passing in the US?

1 comment:

  1. - relevancy fail