Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Green Economy - No Carbon Taxes

There is much political disgust expressed with the pace of the production of Green Energy and the conversion to a Green Economy. The use of oil continues to suck money out of the pockets of North Americans while sending it abroad to other countries. We need quick solutions to start reducing our dependance on foreign oil and the climate changing carbon it produces.

The only way to get things moving at a rapid pace is through national legislation. At the beginning of the Second World War President Roosevelt met with car companies and other manufacturers and informed them that they had months to change their manufacturing so they would be only producing armaments of war. Canada also followed suit. Automobile manufactures were informed that they would no longer be producing domestic vehicles for sale. They could only produce vehicles for the Armed Forces. Research and Development was also directed in the same manner. This was radical and had never been done before but it was necessary in order to fight the war on two fronts and defeat the Axis powers.

In order to make a significant impact on carbon emissions and produce large numbers of new jobs the government would need to pass much less radical legislation. The legislation would need to have an overall goal but contain several steps in order to get to that goal. Here's how we could do it, as I see it:

To reduce carbon emissions by converting society so that it's sole energy is electricity produced by non-polluting sources that are mostly created and manufactured within North America. 
    1. Immediately legislation would be passed to ensure car manufactures produce internal combustion engines that only run on Natural Gas. This would take place in two years (5 years for large trucks).

    REASON: Natural Gas produces less carbon emissions and North America has enough N.G. without having to rely on foreign imports. This would stop the draining of financial resources (billions) out of North America. This can be done quite easily because it's a simple process to convert any vehicle to Natural Gas presently and many car companies actually produce N.G. vehicles as an option for their customers. This act alone would produce huge numbers of jobs. This would also buy "carbon"time for advances in technologies for more clean energy vehicles.  

    2. Legislation would be passed that require utility companies to produce/sell 25% of their electricity from clean sources (wind, solar, wave, hydro) in 5 years. This would then increase to 50% in ten years and 75% in 15 years and 95% in 20 years.

    REASON: The reason here is obvious. If we are going to run on electricity it has to be clean. This requirement will create the need for more green energy and thus leading to a new manufacturing boom.

    3.  Laws would be created to require that all green energy technology used in North America would be 75% manufactured in North America. 

    REASON: This is crucial in order to create millions of jobs in North America. This would also eclipse China's recent surge in building wind turbines and selling them to the U.S. and Canada. Why 75% and not 100%? This would give manufacturers the flexibility needed to import  specialized parts and components where the expertise is found in other countries.  The 75% would help to avoid a protectionist stance by the rest of the world and would allow us to sell this manufacturing elsewhere.

    4.  Legislation would need to be created to phase out coal fired generators over a 10 year period that do not have carbon free emissions. In addition a significant tonnage tax would be placed on all coal coming out of the ground. This tax would go directly into Research and Development for clean coal technology. The tax would be removed when the technology can ensure there are no harmful emissions coming from the burning of coal. 

    REASON: Coal burning reactors create the most carbon emissions of any fuel. The coal mining lobby is strong and advertises "Clean Coal". Presently there is no commercial coal burning that is clean and the advertising is deceptive.  There are experimental projects at work but the companies are loath to put them into action due to the costs.

    5.  Laws would be required to ban all subsidies (immediately) to oil companies and half of the savings would go into R&D research that help create the better storage of electricity (batteries etc.).   

    REASON: If electric cars are going to be a viable alternative then the battery life and recharge time need to increase considerably. Oil companies do not need subsidies by the  people of North America and never have. They are stealing tax dollars from North American tax payers.  Those who do not like paying taxes and lobby strong against any increases should be outraged by their money going to multi-trillion dollar companies.  

    6.  Laws need to be passed that would require 25% of car sales in North America being electric or plug-in hybrids in 5 years and increase by 25% every 5 years thereafter.  The reason is obvious and if we still have limited range of battery life by then then we will have to adjust our lives accordingly.

    Note: The reason why I have stated "North America" in these points is because of the NAFTA barriers regarding trade. Research and development are emphasized here because the continent has excelled and become a world leader when it has strong expertise in research and development. 

    This is not that difficult to implement but there is a lack of political will to carry this out. This is because a number of politicians have been corrupted by the fossil fuel lobbyists who pay millions into their campaigns and off shore accounts and the people who vote for them drink the Kool Aid and believe these politicians are representing their needs. The other side needs to take the risk and convince the rest of the population that this will be a good thing for the economy and planet earth.

    1 comment:

    form 2290 said...

    The Carbon Taxes platform has been dubious from the beginning. I doubt it will be ratified amidst staunch opposition.