Congratulations to the Senate, for demonstrating the link between responsibly addressing climate change and building the economy. As reported by Reuters:
Alternative energy investment prospects have shriveled in the United States after the U.S. Senate was unable to break a deadlock over tackling global warming, a Deutsche Bank official said.
"You just throw your hands up and say ... we're going to take our money elsewhere," said Kevin Parker in an interview with Reuters.
Parker, who is global head of the Frankfurt-based bank's Deutsche Asset Management Division, oversees nearly $700 billion in funds that devote $6 billion to $7 billion to climate change products.
Thanks to the brilliance of the Senate, Parker will be looking to invest in China and Europe, where policymakers are looking to the future, which the U.S. isn't. As Jed Lewison noted, the new Congressional state aid package is being funded, in part, by slashing $1.5 billion from renewable energy programs, which is like buying a hungry man some fish by selling a fishing rod.
Meanwhile, someone is setting an example of how to transition an economy to clean energy. Sometimes doing what is right at home is the way to demonstrate international leadership. This comes from the New York Times, on Tuesday:
Nearly 45 percent of the electricity in Portugal’s grid will come from renewable sources this year, up from 17 percent just five years ago.
Land-based wind power — this year deemed "potentially competitive" with fossil fuels by the International Energy Agency in Paris — has expanded sevenfold in that time. And Portugal expects in 2011 to become the first country to inaugurate a national network of charging stations for electric cars.
"I’ve seen all the smiles — you know: It’s a good dream. It can’t compete. It’s too expensive," said Prime Minister José Sócrates, recalling the way Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, mockingly offered to build him an electric Ferrari. Mr. Sócrates added, "The experience of Portugal shows that it is possible to make these changes in a very short time."
Portugal, a country that is suffering some of the worst impacts of Europe's economic crisis. And despite a short-term increase in electricity costs. President Obama's goal is to have 20 to 25 percent of U.S. electricity produced from renewable sources by 2025, which may be optimistic, given the ease with which renewable energy programs are being eviscerated. By comparison, IHS Emerging Energy Research says Ireland, Denmark and Britain will be getting at least 40 percent of their energy from renewable sources by that same year. At the same time, federal agencies in the U.S. have been studying how to expand the use of the illusory "clean" coal. The Washington Independent has this exciting news:
The report calls on the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, the Department of Justice, the Department of the Interior and the Treasury Department to provide recommendations on the issue by late 2011. In the meantime, the report gives a number of potential solutions to the liability dilemma. They include limiting future liability claims, creating an fund into which companies would pay to cover potential claims and the transfer of liability to the federal government.
Limiting corporate liability, while transferring it to the government. Sound familiar?