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View Diary: Wind power set to decline under Obama? (270 comments)

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  •  Feed-in tariffs: put the horse before the cart. (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, betson08, danmac, A Siegel, BYw, LookingUp

    I've perhaps never agreed with Jerome so much as I do about feed-in tariffs. First, they permit a greater degree of flexiblity than portfolio percentages and include automatically the economic incentives that we need to build and sustain a renewable energy sector. But for me the best argument is that they reward efficiency and innovation the way a market should, by saying that the people who make energy most efficiently (with costs the most far under the set price) reap the largest profits.

    Incentives rather than mandates may also be more politically feasible (because setting the goal of x percent in y years and making that a law when the infrastructure to make that happen doesn't exist yet is scary to a politician, it just is--the poor dears are like lemurs or marmosets that way) and accomplish the same ultimate goal (because it creates the incentives for people to go out there and build the wind farms and lay down the power lines, period paragraph).

    Anyway, this is less a specific failure of Obama's than it is the realization we may have to restructure our markets. And finally, note to the free marketeers: "rectructuring markets" sounds scarily "socialist" and everything, but this is really a very old game, and one that has been used to great effect. For instance, nineteenth century liberals invented the property tax to encourage people to make useful improvements to their land, so it would generate revenue to pay the tax. Also, the seventeenth-century Navigation Acts required English trade to be carried on English ships, making that country a maritime superpower.

    I mean, really: the question is very simple. America, are you a superpower ready to restructure your markets and win the next century thereby, or are you an oil junkie that will do whatever your dealer tells you, just to get that next fix?

    "It's like we weren't made for this world, But I wouldn't really want to meet someone who was." --Of Montreal

    by andydoubtless on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 07:53:09 AM PST

    •  Obama hasn't failed yet. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, andydoubtless

      It's been 8 days. If you want Obama to introduce feed-in tariffs, go to whitehouse.gov and tell him so. And fax your Congresscritters.

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 10:59:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course he hasn't. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HeyMikey

        The problem is that the Republicans have been manipulating sunset provisions in the tax code to keep the enemies of their friends the oil companies wrong-footed, and to make matters worse the nature of the commodity-driven free market economy we live in (plus market manipulation if you really want to go there) keeps people trying to build a renewable energy economy from making progress, or making a profit.

        See, none of that's Obama.

        That said, I still might take your suggestion and write something at whitehouse.gov for this purpose. Thanks.

        "It's like we weren't made for this world, But I wouldn't really want to meet someone who was." --Of Montreal

        by andydoubtless on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 01:40:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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