Save the Economy or Save the Ecology?
In Washington, a climate bill in Congress had to be revised to gain support from senators in coal-using states like Ohio, but despite the revision, the Buckeye State’s Republican Senator George Voinovich and Democrat Senator Sherrod Brown won’t support it.
Senate environmentalists push for a law that will curb global warming by offering billions in federal aid to increase production of alternative energy and develop a commercially viable way to burn coal cleanly.
Specifically, the bill offers $2 billion annually to boost the development of clean coal technology. It will also create a market-based system called cap-and-trade, which gives power companies and factories financial incentives to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. There is even a concession to major factories, giving them till 2016 to enter the cap-and-trade program compared with the 2013 for electrical utility plants.
But still, Ohio senators maintain that it is for the sake of the U.S. economy that they would not support the senate bill or the House measure. Voinovich says that he won’t support a bill that makes the U.S. economy less competitive in the global market. Along the same lines of argument, Brown says that his focus is on protecting U.S. manufacturers from countries that don’t reduce their emissions of greenhouse gasses.
It looks as if it’s either a decision to protect the U.S economy or to protect this country’s ecology. What boggles the mind is that the Ohioan senators think that the two options must be mutually exclusive. They keep harping about protecting the U.S economy when in fact, it has already nose-dived. If we continue with what currently economic and environmental legislation, then nothing will change for the better.
Clean energy technologies and industries hold a great deal of potential in propelling the economy forward. And here’s the problem: “green” anything doesn’t have a chance to succeed if it has to compete with already established and already well-funded “dirty” technologies and industries. We need legislative measures before "green" has the opportunity to become a noticeable reality.Continued on the next page