Technology outpacing climate-change legislation, lawmakers say

Nick Snow
Washington Editor
Oil & Gas Journal
December 2, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC, Dec. 2 — Technology is moving ahead more quickly than legislation to address global climate change, three federal lawmakers agreed on Dec. 1. Congress won’t be able to get back to work on the issue until 2010, they added.

Bills approved by the full US House and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee haven’t answered significant questions, US Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-ND) and US Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said during a forum on US climate and energy policy cosponsored by Newsweek and the American Petroleum Institute. But US Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), who cosponsored the House bill, said the measure was an important first step in a long process.

“The measure is analogous to what we did in telecommunications,” Markey said, noting that Congress passed bills in 1992, 1993, and 1996 that launched, respectively, the modern cable, wireless, and broadband systems while creating 2 million new jobs.

Emerging energy technologies could lead to a $2 trillion domestic industry if the US decided to actively support them, Markey said. “We have a choice. Right now, our energy strategy says ‘Made by [the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries].’ If we don’t act, our new strategy will be to use products made in China. We can decide to release our own entrepreneurial spirit instead,” he said.

The US Department of Energy has what effectively is the largest energy venture capital resource in history with federal economic stimulus funds it received to support new technology research and development, according to Dorgan. “I think there are unbelievably exciting things going on that we don’t fully understand yet, but that will help us a lot,” he said…

The article continues at OGJ.

H/T to Vladimir of who wrote, “So what you’re saying, Senator, is that we may need taxes and more regulation on top of Cap and Trade to stop ManBearPig?

Congressional Democrats are pretty upfront about it. They don’t trust what they don’t understand; unfortunately, what they don’t understand is free market economics. What they do understand is expanded government control and higher taxes.”

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