Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Moving Scale

Over the last four or five days, we have seen the movement of the scales regarding the American recognition of the Climate Change issue.

Even as the VPOTUS flies off to control yesterday's news cycle with his lecture to the President of Pakistan about his inability to deal with the Taliban on his border, a bomb explodes on his own perimeter, requiring the Veep to be whisked into a bomb shelter . Perhaps, he finally got to hear a real explosion up close and maybe, just maybe, he caught a taste of the horror he unleases.

But even as this story breaks, the big story is the buyout of TXU and the apparent victory of the forces who had come together to oppose their building of 11 coal plants. The new deal will allow only three. More importantly, the new plan will include a doubling of wind and an increase in investments in efficiency.

TXU buyout includes global warming, emissions plan
Electric Light and Power

New York, NY, Feb. 26, 2007 -- The record-setting buyout of the utility giant TXU being proposed by a group of top private equity investors includes a set of commitments developed in close consultation with leading environmental experts to reverse the company's drive to build a new fleet of high-emission coal power plants in favor of a new strategy focused on energy efficiency, clean technology and a commitment to cut global warming pollution, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which has been involved in the extensive negotiations.

"This turnaround marks the beginning of a new, competitive focus on clean, efficient, renewable energy strategies to deliver the power we need while cutting global warming emissions," said NRDC president Frances Beinecke. "It is a big step forward for the State of Texas and for the American energy economy as a whole."

Arrangements with the two buyout firms, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Texas Pacific Group, include a commitment to withdraw permit applications for eight of eleven pulverized coal power plants proposed in Texas.

The prospective owners would also throw their support behind a mandatory nationwide limit on global warming emissions paired with a market-based emissions trading system. They also say they will endorse the positions of the recently-announced U.S. Climate Action Partnership, and will seek to formally join the group of companies and environmental organizations already involved.

The new company would aim to limit its total CO2 emissions from its generating operations and reduce them over time, and pledge not to propose any additional traditional pulverized coal plants outside Texas. " more

Just a few days ago, Environmentalists in Texas scored a big victory as one liberal judge slowed down the Governor Good Hair's fast tracking of the original 11 plants. He will probably need more than goop and spray to keep at least a few strands from springing out of the fold once the fall out from this story reaches his door.

Does this turnaround truly mark the beginning of a new, competitive focus on clean, efficient, renewable energy strategies to deliver the power we need while cutting global warming emissions for the American business community?

It just might.

Yesterday, I gave a presentation at the Texas Capitol. It was entitled Tackling Climate Change in the U.S.: Potential Carbon Emissions Reductions from Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy by 2030. At the end of the presentation, I talked about how a scale remains on one side and it doesn't move. Day after day, you put a pebble on the other side. Nothing happens. Then one day, you put one more weight on it, and it moves, and it moves completely.

Today, I go to Houston to give another version of this same meme.

Climate Change is real.

Al Gore has his Oscar.

And the Scale Is Moving.


What it is About

art courtesy of Ota Janecek



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your pebble analogy, like the proverbial butterfly landing on the burdened back, conjured up another physical image. One day an apparently perfectly healthy tree in my yard just fell over. Seems the termites had chewed off the wood right below the surface and whoosh, down it came really fast, narrowly missing my car.
Thanks for spreading the word.

8:40 AM  

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