From the blog formerly known as Green, Inc:
Hoping to find a way around the current political impasse on climate change and energy policy, a former top adviser to President Obama has devised a policy proposal to drive down greenhouse gas emissions from the utility industry over the next 20 years.
The plan, “Promoting Clean Energy in the American Power Sector,” borrows from a range of policy proposals, including President Obama’s latest clean energy policy, the cap and trade plan that foundered in Congress last year, and state-level clean electricity mandates. The proposal sets goals based on emissions intensity — the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per unit of electricity generated — an idea pursued both by the Chinese government and by former President George W. Bush.
The plan’s author, Joseph Aldy, a professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a former White House staff member on energy and economic issues, said that his proposal could help untie the political knot that has doomed all previous attempts at a comprehensive energy and climate policy.
It would give utilities incentives for converting to cleaner forms of electricity without top-down mandates from the federal government or penalties for failure to comply.
It would require Congressional action and would take the place of Environmental Protection Agency regulation of power plant emissions, a program that has generated intense opposition from Republicans in Congress, utility companies and manufacturers. It would also pre-empt the clean energy mandates adopted by 29 states and the District of Columbia.
The first politician who calls this a tax (i.e., provides the necessary distortion) gets a congratulatory letter from env-econ.net and a chocolate cookie.
Note: May 17 Urban Word of the Day.