By W. R. (Bill) Collier Jr – A progressive and a conservative have begun serious dialogue for a proposal to give America Clean Energy Tax Cuts just might be the thing to jump-start the kind of energy prosperity and independence folks like myself have long advocated to make communities and individuals more energy independent and, therefore, more free and prosperous in general.
This proposal, if it is adopted, would potentially demonstrate the efficacy of supply side economics in addressing problems while lowering the emissions some believe to be the cause of global warming- but significantly it would potentially pave the way for the kind of reforms that would make you and I more energy independent ourselves, free from the centralized production and control of energy which exists now. This shift in energy independence is good for the environment, the economy, and your freedom!
The debate rages about clean energy, climate change, and the causes of climate change. But there are three things I believe are very important to remember, and keep focus on which I propose, should unify us all:
- Energy creation that is house portable and house affordable and that uses renewable sources increases our overall local and individual independence from the large-scale and centralized systems needed for generating energy from so-called fossil fuels
- Renewable energy that is clean will reduce pollution locally, and perhaps even globally, restoring a natural environment that is healthier for plants, animals, and we humans while preserving the natural biodiversity for future generations
- Weening America from the need for foreign sources of energy is a vital national security matter which we can and we must address
And so it is in that spirit I have advocated for a “moon shot” approach to developing renewable energy technology that can be added to each new home, or retrofitted to existing homes and any kind of building, which make that location a source of energy unto itself, and even a potential supplier of energy to the energy grid. Imagine an energy grid that is inter-connected but impossible to “take down” through some attack on infrastructure, be it physical or cyber in nature, because it is a mesh and not a web. I have always felt that the same effort that went into creating nuclear weapons and the moon landing should be put forth to develop this technology.
This technology should be affordable, it should be such that it is as basic to a new building as its wiring and plumbing. I have proposed that revising building codes in favor of far cheaper, and equally safe, methods such as greywater and rainwater recycling, straw bale and cobb construction, and other methods often denied the homebuilder do to local codes, would also offset the added cost of these energy technologies. So then, for instance, the home would generate enough energy to power not only your household needs but your vehicles, and excess energy would be “sold” to the power company and pooled for transmission for industrial use.
But getting both progressives and conservatives to agree on this matter has been difficult, until now.
Joan Blades, one of the founders of Moveon.org, and Rod Richardson of the Grace Richardson Fund, represent two opposite points of view, Joan being the progressive and Rod being the conservative. After a series of Living Room Conversations on the subject, including experts in the arenas of climate change and economics, the two agreed to advance dialogue on a plan to reduce carbon emissions by the very novel concept of applying supply side economics to the problem. The basic idea is that whatever you want to see more of you must tax less.
As Joan Blades notes, “I strongly believe we should be talking respectfully across differences and this potential solution-clean tax cuts has shown it has great potential for being a good place to start.”
This is indeed a good place to start in brining together people from left and right to work on a solution that both sides can live with, and that might just have an impact both on the concern over global warming and the concern over energy freedom.
Unlike previous programs, which have amounted, some say, to subsidizing failure, providing huge tax savings to those who develop clean energy would result in essentially subsidizing success in the arena of clean energy that does not rely on fossil fuels. The incentives would be so great that even energy companies which today rely on fossil fuels would find it hard to resist the temptation to develop clean energy products and earn profits that would be taxed at a very low rate.
Here is the real newsmaker- I have never seen the right-of center American Spectator and the left–of-center Huffington Post simultaneously publish a column. This looks like a first. Indeed, it is not merely the joint publishing of this column by Joan Blades that is a first, but the very nature of the proposal, and its broad appeal to left and right, which I think is of extreme relevance, and importance.
When Joan Blades, co-founder of MoveOn.org and Rod Richardson, of the Grace Richardson Fund, get together to discuss a novel, yet compelling, way to address climate change it represents a major change in the discourse.
Here are the two places where this column appeared simultaneously-
The American Spectator
While I might ask that they specifically address the need for house portable and house affordable solutions, and layer in intelligent CLEAN CODES to help local municipalities to encourage clean, cheaper, and more sustainable building methods, this is definitely in and of itself a huge step in the right direction. Iw oud not want to muddy that and would simply support what is currently proposed.
I do not embrace the idea that climate change is man-made, and I find the idea of human beings raising or lowering the global temperature to be absurd on its face, but, as I have always said, one does not need to be a believer in “anthropogenic climate change” to embrace clean and renewable energy, independence from fossil fuel technologies that centralize control over energy, or preserving the natural state of our environment both for our health (and the health of plants and animals) and to preserve biodiversity for future generations.
As I have said to many who embrace the” climate change by man” theory, “you had me at ‘good for nature’ and renewable!” I don’t need to debate the underlying theory to be on board with an agenda that creates cleaner, renewable energy, though I believe it must at least have some of its major focus on “house portable and house affordable” technologies.
I encourage you to go to the article, choose one of the links, and read it…and get behind this effort to both promote energy freedom and prosperity, on one hand, and a clean environment that does not pollute our natural world, on the other hand. Together we can reduce carbon emissions as some wish, and produce greater prosperity and independence, as others, such as myself, wish!