Disaster is making US think again about cleaner energy
Deepwater Horizon oil spill is making Americans think more about a clean energy future – but not yet to the extent of having to pay for it, or to tackle climate change, one of the leading US thinkers on global warming policy said yesterday.
US citizens are "horrified" by the pollution in the Gulf of Mexico, and are starting to think more about cleaner energy sources such as wind and wave power, said Eileen Clausen, president of America's foremost climate think-tank, the Washington-based Pew Center on Global Climate Change.
However, she said, when consumers are asked by pollsters if they would be willing to pay more for such a future, they say no, and say the government should pay. Furthermore, Ms Clausen said, the Gulf disaster was giving US energy policy "a nudge rather than a shift" in the direction of clean energy, but it would probably not be enough to bring forward legislation to curb carbon emissions, at least for the present.
The BP spill has certainly helped to focus minds in Washington on energy policy, and the climate and energy bill put forward by Democratic senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman, which is currently stuck in the Senate for want of bipartisan support.
Among much else the bill would commit the US to reducing its carbon emissions by 17 per cent on 2005 levels by 2020, which would be brought about by establishing an emissions trading system. Republicans characterise this as an "energy tax" and will not vote for the bill, which cannot pass without some Republican support.
However, the chances of "doing something" on energy this summer were probably greater as a result of the spill, Ms Clausen said, suggesting that clean-energy measures might be agreed upon which did not specifically tackle global warming, or set a price for carbon.
Global warming ‘will make our winters colder’
Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: The sparrow that survived Mao's purge
A good year for nature in Britain, despite the cold: After frostiest March for 50 years, summer gave rise to an explosion in wildlife
Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 3 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
- 4 Hip hop is both racial and political, and for Iggy Azalea to suggest otherwise is insulting
- 5 Man hospitalised with pneumonia after downing eggnog at office Christmas party
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...
£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...
Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...