As concerns about reliance on foreign energy resources increase and we try to combat climate change by reducing our emissions and expanding renewable energy use, there has been an increase in talk about public financing of clean energy improvements.
Policies that restrict emissions that negatively effect our environment, such as cap-and-trade programs, are often implemented to spur energy efficiency and greater use of clean energy. To combat the negative impact of rising energy prices on low and moderate income households, associated with restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions,the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP)has designed a“climate rebate” plan. According to the CBPP, rebates are an effective way to assist households amidst higher energy costs because they allow consumers to maintain their purchasing power while also preserving the incentive to conserve energy and invest in energy-efficiency improvements.
Can investments in green jobs and energy efficiency revive our national economy? A new study,
which assesses job creation as a result of energy efficiency policies
in California over the last thirty years, argues that it can.
There are stark differences between the two presidential campaigns'
approaches to federal-state relationships. Differences range from the
amount of funding appropriated for programs run by the states to
whether the candidates would strengthen or weaken state regulatory
The good news is that next week, ten Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states will begin holding first-in-the-nation auctions of greenhouse gas allowances, an initiative aimed at capping the pollution causing global climate change.
In the search for alternatives to oil, biofuels have emerged as a
promising answer to wean us off our oil addiction. By some estimates,
biofuels could reduce
greenhouse gas emissions by 1.7 billion tons per year, be cost
competitive with gasoline and provide a major source of revenue for
The Washington State House has voted to establish a comprehensive "green economy jobs growth initiative" that aims to increase the number of green jobs to
25,000 by 2020. "Green jobs" is the term used to describe the
good-paying, sustainable jobs that are created through environmentally
sensible projects. For example, increased energy efficiency
requirements will require work retrofitting buildings all across America with solar panels, insulation and other weatherizing materials. The federal Green Jobs Act of 2007, which authorized $125 million per year to create green jobs worker training programs, was included in the recently enacted Energy Independence and Security Act.
Decoupling increased utility profits from increased energy use is a key policy for promoting energy savings. Yet, some proposals, like the four-year decoupling pilot program just approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), may just be masking abuses of consumers under the guise of energy conservation.
Portland, Oregon city officials introduced
a bold new plan that would require energy efficiency measures in each
new home built. The plan would impose a carbon fee on builders for each
new home that is not extremely energy efficient and also require an
energy efficiency report be done by home inspectors as part of every
existing home sale. The plan would also pay cash rewards to developers
who built buildings that save at least 45% more energy than the Oregon
building code would require. The City Council will start public
hearings on the plan in January.