Friday, September 15, 2006

Is California dreaming? The gamble to cut greenhouse gases

The NY times have published an excellent 5 page article with some good economic analysis on the decision of California to impose strict regulations on emissions on suppliers outside its borders. The article asks whether such a policy is visonary or deluded.

The answer touches on a Porter hypothesis type argument we have mentioned in a number of previous posts.

New York Times 15th September

Is California dreaming? Can its multifaceted approach become a toolkit for other states? Will investors make the state the incubator for clean-energy technologies that will reduce its energy bills and buoy its economy? Or will all this turn California into a stagnating economic island of ever-rising electricity prices and ever-rolling blackouts?

Another interesting quote from the article links directly to our other favoutite topic - the pollution haven hypothesis (where little evidence has been found). Of course this does not prevent the usual quotes to be trotted out:

Allan Zaremberg, president of the state Chamber of Commerce, predicted that businesses would flee to unregulated areas and continue to emit climate-changing gases.

The good balance of the article was helped of course by talking about an economic study by Roland-Hoslt (UC Berkley) linking to Porter again:

Professor Roland-Holst argued that the new law would add $60 billion and 17,000 jobs — in fields like alternative energy — to the California economy by 2020 by attracting new investment.

It will be interesting to watch the California gamble as it develops. I suspect it will be more visonary than delusional.

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