Friday, May 22, 2009

Freeing us from that heavy Carbon-diet: energy generation without pollution

Opponents of the Clean Energy and Security Act have a lot on their mind today. Turning down Federal stimulus money designed to help reduce carbon emission level seems to be a ploy by some of them, to halt the engine of progress across the country. Their position is unenviable, considering the fact that they have to explain themselves out on what to do with millions of tons of pollutants pumped into the atmosphere everyday from the coal and petroleum industrial complexes in their various states.

The Legislation affectionately called the Waxman-Markey bill, making its way through the Federal House Energy and Commerce Committee, is obviously a nightmare for many opponents of the Clean Energy and Security Act. Many Coal producing States and heavy carbon emitting industrial complexes would love not to have this bill pass as it sets a new standard for them to comply with and creates a situation of accountability for the level of carbon emission in their various domains. What is probably obvious is that carbon-emitting industrial complexes around the nation have a lot to lose when the bill becomes law. Coal mining companies, power plants and utilities who have long depended on coal for generating electricity, would now have to contend with the possibility of losing money when the bill passes and is signed into law.

Who are the potential winners when Waxman-Markey Bill passes? Investors in clean energy technologies, companies using wind mills in generating electricity or energy, researchers, academics, environmentalists and politicians who have constantly drummed up the beat of lowering carbon emission standards. The groups of regional green gas initiative in the Northwest and Midwest are also potential winners not to mention many small-scale wind mills in Washington State who have been making effort to win our citizens off the carbon-diet for energy generation. Commercial-scale wind energy investors would reap from having the foresight to produce energy from less polluting alternatives.

The reality long known for three decades is that chlorofluorocarbon (CFC), a residue of carbon emission from coal and carbonated industrial processes, is gradually eating away on the ozone layer. Energy generation from coal has contributed to high levels of chlorofluorocarbon in the atmosphere, which have in turn diminished our ozone layer and contributed to the problem of global warming. What the Clean Energy and Security Act offer, is an opportunity to reduce chlorofluorocarbon in the atmosphere, create new technologies in energy generation and green jobs. The new law is expected to facilitate renewable energy systems, including energy generated from wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and hydrogen. It is also expected to usher in a regime of energy efficiency improvements thereby lowering the cost of generating a kilowatt of energy.
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