the climate policy dilemma

The New York Times’ Jad Mouawad had a story yesterday that neatly illustrates how hard it will be to come up with a workable climate policy in the United States. It describes the efforts of the members of the Climate Action Partnership, a coalition of businesses and environmental groups trying to sit down at the table and come up with a workable policy that both groups can sign on to:

“They helped crystallize the concerns about climate,” said David G. Victor, the director of the energy and sustainable development program at Stanford University and an expert on climate policy who has been closely following the debates. “But the moment the coalition starts to focus on the details, it starts breaking apart. It’s a litmus test for the debate in the country.”

In other words, even when folks agree on the value of action, the details are hard.


  1. This quote from the article gets at what Dano says:

    “It’s really now a battle over the economics,” said James E. Rogers, chief executive of Duke Energy, who has long advocated curbing carbon emissions. “The debate is not about the climate problem. Everybody could agree on the principles and still get the economics wrong.”

    People who try to do things are actually trying to do things. They are not quibbling over whether or not climate is changing or what fraction is man-made.



  2. Eli –

    Actually no, I think you’re remembering my reference to the National Commission on Energy Policy, though there are similarities in approach.

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