The oil rig spilling oil in the Gulf of Mexico has further undermined the chances a climate bill will pass the Senate. One part of the bill would permit offshore oil drilling. Without more safeguards, this provision could now scuttle the bill. Some senators want bigger buffers, others more study.
The New York Time’s Thomas Friedman chastises Congress for ceding “the next great global industry” — energy technology — to China, and urges President Obama to exert sustained leadership to pass an energy bill that prices carbon. His support has political risks, but it’s citical to America’s 21st century
The U.S. isn’t the only place where the legislature and the electoral cycle conspire to frustrate action on climate change. Australia’s Labor government just put on hold its emissions trading bill, which faced a third defeat in the Senate. Some think the fight will resume right after elections.
In a way, this New York Times headline is a trick question. It really doesn’t matter who builds the first North American offshore wind farm. What matters is that the U.S. develops an offshore wind industry to provide some of its energy needs and to compete with Europe, China, and Japan, who are far ahead.
Venture capitalists invested billions in Silicon Valley’s technology firms. Their next big thing is sustainable agriculture. More and more are aware that conventional agriculture wastes water and energy, and worsens climate change. These concerns create markets for technological innovation.