Photo via USA Today
And he's right. The market needs a clear signal that energy companies that create carbon pollution are going to have to pay for it, so that investment can be diverted to cleaner sources. We can subsidize clean energy or provide tax breaks for renewables, but that will only get us so far--if you want to see the market work to solve the problem, we're going to have to level the playing field. Obama said as much in his speech to the Business Roundtable: (Via the Hill)
"A competitive America is also an America that finally has a smart energy policy. We know there is no silver bullet here - that to reduce our dependence on oil and the damage caused by climate change, we need more production, more efficiency, and more incentives for clean energy ...I couldn't agree more--pricing carbon is projected to lead to a ramping up of clean tech that will keep the US economy competitive in what will undoubtedly be one of the most vital industries in the world going forward. That point has been made innumerable times by now, but I have to laud Obama's efforts to continue to rally for carbon pricing even while many consider it (wrongly, in my opinion) politically infeasible at this point.
"But to truly transition to a clean energy economy, I've also said that we need to put a price on carbon pollution. Many businesses have embraced this approach - including some here today. Still, I am sympathetic to those companies that face significant transition costs, and I want to work with organizations like this to help with those costs and get our policies right.
"What we can't do is stand still. The only certainty of the status quo is that the price and supply of oil will become increasingly volatile; that the use of fossil fuels will wreak havoc on weather patterns and air quality. But if we decide now that we're putting a price on this pollution in a few years, it will give businesses the certainty of knowing they have time to plan and transition. This country has to move towards a clean energy economy. That's where the world is going. And that's how America will remain competitive and strong in the 21st century."
Kerry made some noise yesterday about there being a new bipartisan consensus growing for clean energy reform in the Senate yesterday--let's see if some momentum can yet be regained.
Via Climate Progress
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