Congress and Renewables, Going Whichever Way the Wind Blows

A recent Forbes’ article on Vestas Wind’s CEO, Ditlev Engel, and his determination to make wind energy succeed in America, brings to mind the real problem behind renewable energy in the U.S; Congress tends to swing whichever way the wind blows (pun intended).

Vestas came to the U.S. in the wake of the OPEC oil crisis/embargo in 1973. Then, when oil prices dropped in the 1980s, Vestas – like many other renewable energy startups – went bust because the government let renewable energy tax incentives lapse for lack of interest. This effectively dried up venture capital.

BC NDP's Cap and Trade Proposal Nothing New

BC NDP leader Carole James defended her party’s proposal to scrap the BC Carbon Tax by promising to “implement a cap-and-trade system to put a price on carbon.”

This of course is nothing new in that British Columbia is already a partner in the Western Climate Initiative (WCI.)

Under the WCI framework member States and Provinces are well underway in identifying, evaluating, and implementing “collective and cooperative ways to reduce greenhouse gases in the region, focusing on a market-based cap-and-trade system.”

Top Environmental Group Lambastes BC NDP Climate Change Platform

The Pembina Institute calls the BC NDP’s election platform a “step backwards for climate change.”

Matt Horne, BC Energy Solutions Director for the Pembina Institute, made the following statement in response to the BC NDP’s release of its election platform:

“The NDP plans to cancel British Columbia’s carbon tax, but offers limited detail on how the party otherwise plans to meet British Columbia’s greenhouse gas reduction targets.

“The NDP’s platform puts climate change on the shelf to be addressed in the future, rather than building on steps already taken.
The carbon tax is already showing results. It is important for British Columbia to keep moving forward on climate change rather than starting over again. [my emphasis]

“The carbon tax covers more than 75 per cent of British Columbia’s greenhouse gas pollution, including industry, while the core of the NDP plan would address only 30 per cent at best. British Columbia’s climate plan needs to be strengthened, but the NDP’s proposal takes us in the opposite direction.

“The NDP fails to acknowledge that British Columbia’s carbon tax applies to all fossil fuels burned in the province, regardless of who consumes them. This is an important fact for British Columbians to understand.”

The NDP platform includes a number of other commitments related to climate and energy, and the Pembina Institute will release a more detailed review of these next week.

BC Election Watch: BC NDP Climate Policies

Late last week, noted economist Dr. Marc Jacaard released a scathing analysis of the BC NDP’s climate change policy. As DeSmog writer Ricahrd Littlemore noted at the time:

“Simon Fraser University Professor and (Nobel-winning) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change contributor Mark Jaccard has torn the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) policy document into little tiny shreds in an analysis released yesterday”

“In fairness, Jaccard doesn’t use the phrase “laughably inconsequential,” but he posts a couple of nice graphs that show the consequences of the NDP’s previous initiatives.”

I got a lot of emails over the weekend from people looking for the Jaccard analysis, so I’ve attached it to the end of this post for downloading.

You can also find it here in PDF: Proposed NDP Climate Policies for BC: estimating their effect.

Jaccard analysis blunts NDP's carbon tax axe

Simon Fraser University Professor and (Nobel-winning) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change contributor Mark Jaccard has torn the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) policy document into little tiny shreds in an analysis released yesterday [PDF].

The NDP’s environmental proposals are not just doomed to failure, Jaccard said, they will also chase jobs from B.C. in the tens of thousands. 

For people not from Canada’s coast, the NDP is a traditional coalition of social policy progressives, labor activists and environmentalists. This particular iteration of the NDP, however, appears intent upon carving off its environmental arm in favour of pandering to the libertarian types who just love to scream about government taxation.


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