Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

  • Cap and trade is still the right call

    on Sep 4, 09 • in All Columns, Domestic Policy, Environment, Politics • with Comments Off

    The great debate over how – and how much – to reduce the greenhouse gasses we emit while consuming energy is heating up. And in what passes for sport in Washington, wise policy is getting whomped by trivial tax politics. The Obama administration and House Democrats just lofted energy and climate legislation to create a “cap and trade” system for carbon dioxide. But then, stunningly, they ran the right play in the wrong direction – contending that cap and trade is somehow more politically plausible because it won’t look as bad as a direct tax

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  • An Environmental Blueprint for the Obama Administration

    on Dec 14, 08 • in All Columns, Business, Domestic Policy, Environment • with Comments Off

    Instead of placing sketchy bets with public money, the next administration might consider a few suggestions: First, Subsidies: To start leveling the field, phase out and eliminate subsidies and tax breaks for oil companies (begin there; coal comes later). The subsidies were established – and meant to be temporary – in an era when that industry needed help. Oil now gets larger tax incentives relative to its size than any other U.S. industry. It’s time to roll them back, not escalate subsidies for alternative fuels in a multi-front bidding war. Don’t shift subsidies from fossil fuels to

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  • A Trifecta of Economy, Ecology and Jobs

    on Dec 14, 08 • in All Columns, Business, Domestic Policy, Environment, Politics • with Comments Off

    With oil reserves getting tighter, resource-rich countries becoming more aggressive and climate change prompting louder and broader calls for action, President-elect Barack Obama has promised to invest $150 billion “strategically” to build a clean energy future for America over the next 10 years – and create 5 million new jobs for which we needed a good HR team, because when you hire that many people is also when you make mistakes. Somehow, he needs to show the country how to hit a perfect trifecta of economy, ecology and employment – placing his bets quickly to build

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  • Environmental policy and economic development in Eastern Europe

    on Feb 6, 06 • in Environment • with Comments Off

    Can economic development enhance environmental quality? That’s the big question being worked out in the tiny village of Rosia Montana in Romania – a place of enormous natural beauty and grinding poverty, atop one of the largest gold deposits in the world. And that’s the challenge, as mining practices employed from the regimes of Caesar through Ceaucescu have left the region’s people washing their kitchen garden vegetables – and watching their children play – in a river running red with toxic tailings. As a reasonable condition of Romania’s entry into the EU on Jan. 1,

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