Some Utilities are Seeing the Light on Climate Change

Posted on September 28, 2009. Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , |

Utilities have been making news recently. Last week, Green Inc. tracked Pacific Gas and Electric’s (PG&E) withdrawal from the US Chamber of Commerce due to disagreements with the organization’s position on climate change. The Chamber has insisted on a  re-examination of the scientific evidence around climate change and has threatened to sue the EPA if a new investigation is not started.

The Chairman of PG&E, Peter Darbee, explained the decision in a letter to the Chamber last week:

“We find it dismaying that the Chamber neglects the indisputable fact that a decisive majority of experts have said the data on global warming are compelling and point to a threat that cannot be ignored. In our opinion, an intellectually honest argument over the best policy response to the challenges of climate change is one thing; disingenuous attempts to diminish or distort the reality of these challenges are quite another.”

As of today, Green Inc. reports that 2 other utilities have followed PG&E’s lead: PNM Resources (announcement last week) and Exelon (announcement today).

A spokesman for the US Chamber of Commerce offered this comment to Green Inc.:

“We’ve never questioned the science behind global warming.”

He went on to say that the Chamber had issues with the EPA’s finding that  greenhouse gases are a public health hazard and that they should be regulated. The Chamber supports the reduction of greenhouse gases in principle, but opposes regulation by the EPA, stating on their website:

“We support sound policies that incentivize innovation and new business opportunities rather than the approach coming out of the House and the EPA which will strangle business with thousands of new regulation and stifle America’s competitiveness”

Incentives for innovation and new business opportunities- that sounds great! But how can we do these things without a price on carbon? It seems to me (and this is in no way a unique thought) that as long as the environmental impact is not a factor in the bottom line for business, climate friendly technologies will not be able to compete with conventional ones. And as for America’s competitiveness, many experts believe that we are already falling behind in terms of green technologies. Check out this graphic Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, posted on his facebook page:

Disagreements about climate change legislation also prompted the withdrawal of Duke Energy (the country’s third largest utility) and Alstom from the American Council for Clean Coal Electricity earlier this month.

And just today, Duke Energy joined Florida Power and Light in announcing that all their fleet vehicle purchases would be plug in hybrid or fully electric by 2020!

SO it does appear that some utilities are taking climate change’s to hoping the idea will catch on.


Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

One Response to “Some Utilities are Seeing the Light on Climate Change”

RSS Feed for Clean Currently Comments RSS Feed

[…] on October 15, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | We’ve been following the flood of resignations from the US Chamber of Commerce as a result of the organization’s […]

Where's The Comment Form?

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: