How to Cut Emissions Without Wrecking the Economy
Christopher Crane and Ted Halstead, Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2019
It’s one thing to build an odd-bedfellow coalition around broad principles, quite another to refine the details of an actionable plan. That we have now done. The Council’s Bipartisan Roadmap will be released in the coming months, but we can preview here three of its salient features.
The first is our plan’s environmental ambition. It calls for a carbon fee starting at $40 a ton and increasing annually at 5% above inflation.
Second, the vast majority of Americans will be economic winners under our plan. According to the U.S. Treasury, 70% of American families—including the most vulnerable—would come out ahead, receiving more in carbon dividends than they pay in increased energy costs
Third, our plan’s environmental and social ambition is matched by equally strong pro-business and pro-competitiveness provisions.
Our take: “Unlike many climate plans, which require large increases in taxes, deficits or both, ours will “finance” the transition to a low-carbon future by incentivizing individual and corporate behavior and by leveraging the extensive resources of the private sector. It will also spur American innovation and let the market decide on the best low-carbon technologies and energy sources.” Markets, not mandates.
BP’s gas play
Craig Medred, Sept 28, 2019
BP is going big on liquified natural gas (LNG), only not in Alaska. Less than a month after the London-based petroleum giant announced it had found a way to extricate itself from its 49th state oil and gas holdings, it revealed a $9.61 billion, 18-year deal to sell LNG to South Korea’s state-run Korea Gas Corp (KOGAS).
A decade ago, Alaska was expected to become the major gas supplier for the U.S. Midwest. As envisioned by the state and federal governments, and the major Alaska oil producers, a pipeline would snake south for 1,700-miles from the edge of the Arctic Ocean through Alaska across Canada’s Yukon Territory and the province of British Columbia to connect to Canadian pipelines in the southern portion of the province of Alberta.
Neither national nor international markets look good for Alaska North Slope gas in the short term, though the Wall Street Journal noted some analysts are suggesting a growing future demand for gas if China “more aggressively turns to gas to fuel power plants in place of coal.”
Plagued by air pollution from coal-fired power plants, China would like to transition to gas and renewables, but that move is not a given in a country more worried about its economy than its air or increases in carbon dioxide emissions linked to global warming.