The next few months will feature the most intense and expensive debate and legislative battle ever over our energy policy, and by extension how we choose to respond to climate change. The impact on the consumer will be a key point of argument between the two sides. Hot air and alarmist tactics are virtually assured, but the issues are too important not to have a rational discussion about how to achieve critical climate objectives in a way that minimizes the impact on the consumer.
We must advance the policies that put us on a path to a clean energy economy, while making every effort to minimize the short-term impact on consumers. The successful solution will share two attributes: provisions to generate clean, affordable and robust amounts of the energy needed to power economic growth, and a formula for reducing the global warming emissions which science says are threatening the climatic systems which keep our planet in balance, and life itself possible.
Setting national performance standards for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and greenhouse gas emissions is the right approach. Combined, an Energy Efficiency Resource Standard, a Renewable Electricity Standard, and a greenhouse gas cap or standard – a “Three Pillar” Approach – could meet our environmental goals, grow the economy, and minimize the impact on the consumer.
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