CEO Of Excelon Corp. Says Congress Should Do "Nothing" About Climate

future image

"Future." "Take the Future by your Hand. Who else can do it?" HKD
Image & title credit:Flickr, h.koppdelaney's photostream

Masterfully drawing a target around a Republican spent arrow as he addressed our favorite think tank, Competitive Enterprise Institute, "Exelon Corp. CEO John Rowe said Tuesday that the best thing Congress can do to address global warming is "nothing."
Mr. Rowe spoke out against new mandates and subsidies for nuclear power, clean coal and renewable energy in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C." Quote is courtesy of Crain's Chicago Business.

Actually, I'm inclined to agree with him while the US House of Representatives is what it is. Sometimes...randomly and unreliably...the free market does good things for the environment. This is one of those periods.Check out the comments people have posted at the close of the Crain's article covering Mr Rowe's speech. They add meaning to this quote from a seemingly-related story in Gulf States Energy,

[Mr. Rowe] made it clear that Exelon is still interested in buying a gas utility, a major change of direction. Until now, Mr. Rowe has pursued power generators that could sell electricity on the unregulated, wholesale market like Exelon's nuclear plants already do in Illinois and the Mid-Atlantic. But low prices are squeezing Exelon's earnings, making the guaranteed, if modest, returns of regulated gas utilities look more enticing.

Mr. Rowe needs to make something happen soon. Profits at Exelon are expected to plunge in 2012, the same year he is scheduled to retire after 14 years at the helm of the Chicago-based company.

Oppose softly and carry a big smile.
Here's why I think we should act like 'doing nothing' is a horrible idea (which it objectively is); but smile and do little to oppose CEI's just-reinforced marching orders. Assuming USEPA will be allowed to carry out it's lawful mandate to regulate non-GHG emissions from coal-fired utilities, cheap natural gas will continue to sink big coal.

As I wrote in a recent post, Change We Can Live With: Fracking Steers Us Away From A Coal-Fired Future:
Think tankers and lobbyists have had a hard time envisioning the unintended consequences of their diverse fossil fuel-defending tactics, tactics that have been intensifying for 12 years, culminating in an 'eliminate EPA' frenzy, as mapped by The Newt. Here's a fun example of the huge, unexpected adverse impact on coal, caused by the synergy of colliding fossil fuel defense strategies.

Carbon lovers seem not to have thought through what might come about from simultaneously advocating unregulated natural gas fracking, unregulated coal production and consumption, and the killing off of EPA. Large numbers of coal-fired boilers are being converted to natural gas and many coal-plant expansion plans have been scuttled in favor of the natural gas option. Much of this coal-to-gas change is taking place in the US Mid-Atlantic states, home of mountain-top removal coal mining, and in the Southeast, abode of Newt Gingrich