Today, two democrats, Henry Waxman from California and Ed Markey from Massachusetts, introduced a 600-page "discussion draft" of a bill to limit...
Today, two democrats, Henry Waxman from California and Ed Markey from Massachusetts, introduced a 600-page "discussion draft" of a bill to limit America's production of greenhouse gasses and get the country on renewable energy. It's pretty comprehensive, addressing issues ranging from the energy efficiency of appliances to the adoption of low-carbon fuels to a carbon cap-and-trade program for industry.There are some glaring gaps. The bill doesn't detail how pollution permits for carbon-intensive industries will be destributed-or how any state revenue generated in the process will be used. Waxman and Markey deliberately left those issues for the negotiation process. But it's a start.The foot-dragging from the vested interests is already underway though. From the New York Times:"The bill would require every region of the country to produce a quarter of its electricity from renewable sources like wind, solar and geothermal by 2025. A number of lawmakers around the country, particularly in the Southeast, call that goal unrealistic because the natural resources and technology to meet it do not yet exist."It's crazy to argue that "realistic" goals are only those goals we can comfortably meet given current technology. Imagine Apple deciding in 2002 that a smaller iPod wasn't possible because a smaller iPod wasn't possible then.Improvements in solar energy efficiency happen all the time. In setting goals that look as far forward as 2025 we should not only assume that technology advances-we should assume that the rate at which it advances will accelerate.Maybe a good goal-setting strategy would be to decide what percentage of renewable energy we need to be on by 2025 to do our part in combating catastrophic climate problems, and then fund research and trust the ingenuity of American enterprise to make it happen.You can get the full text of the bill and/or a helpful, manageable summary, here.