Monday, July 6, 2009

Addendum to climate bill article

You know that link at the top of the list at the right? The one about the Center for Public Integrity's Climate Lobbyist Investigation? Well, their reports were mentioned in the climate bill article as well.

One particularly dandy piece of information from the article:

"As of the first quarter this year, Atlanta-based Southern Company, the corporate parent of Alabama Power Co. and Mississippi Power Co., had 63 lobbyists seeking to influence climate change legislation, far more than any other U.S. business or interest group..."

I doubt these companies really have the people's interests in mind.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Climate bill article

Here's an interesting article that appeared in the Press-Register today. It's about the recent passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (HR 2454).
I'm typically not that enthused with the way our local media judges progressive moves like this, as they usually assume a fair amount of bias away from the idea of moving to a greener economy. But I gotta say I was impressed: they kept the axe away from the grinding stone here. Fair politics? Who knows, but you can read the full text (all 1,400+ pages) of the bill in all its glory.
The basics of the idea behind the bill is to shift from coal plants, fossil fuels and other harmful energy sources to cleaner sources, i.e. solar or wind power. It seeks to put caps on carbon emissions. The problem with Alabama is that we currently seek these things. We need them in order to sustain a cheap, fair economy. The bill, as it stands, will in fact raise the cost of oil and gasoline by a large margin (they say 77 cents, but you can never trust figures from these guys). But, in the long run, proponents say it'll be worth the cost due to an offset in our economy: that we'll save money in the long run by choosing these newer resources.
Perhaps it's not the best move for Alabama now. Perhaps our state's economy needs to grow a bit more. Our economy is still based on the old model. But we, Mobile, are standing at the edge of a massive growth spurt. Our jobs are growing faster than any other city in the state. If more green jobs emerge, it would stand to reason that our economy, and thus our state, would benefit in the long run.