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We definitely wouldn’t want the job of steering a massive power company that delivers 70 percent of its generation from dirty coal, making it one of the largest emitters of CO2 in the U.S. Not in this day and age of increasing attention to climate change […]

jimrogers1.jpgWe definitely wouldn’t want the job of steering a massive power company that delivers 70 percent of its generation from dirty coal, making it one of the largest emitters of CO2 in the U.S. Not in this day and age of increasing attention to climate change and carbon legislation. Good thing we have Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers — part articulate energy-efficiency advocate, part forward-thinking legislation supporter, and part power industry player and all-around conundrum.

Yesterday Rogers penned an article for the Cleantechblog titled “Climate Legislation: Who Gains? Who Loses?” It’s an interesting article, and focuses on what he thinks a federal cap-and-trade system should look like — basically power industry-friendly.

Rogers argues against the Lieberman/Warner proposal, which he says would “auction a large number of emissions allowances to the highest bidder,” and would turn an auction into the equivalent of a carbon tax. He says the added costs could slap on more than $1,000 per year to an average family, according to certain calculations, and would just put money in the hands of carbon traders. His alternative, of course:

A better approach is to allocate allowances at no cost to generators who emit greenhouse gases – and reduce the number of allowances over time, while new carbon-control technologies are being developed and put in place.

It’s no surprise that Rogers would want to avoid “the stick approach” when it comes to regulating power companies. But what do you think?

  1. There’s a lot to be learned from the European experience with creating a carbon market, in particular that issuing carbon credits instead of auctioning leaves the process open to political favoritism (of which Duke no doubt would get more than its share). A carbon tax is fairest and most effective. For expert analysis see:

    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=29896DAF-E7F2-99DF-3CB3CA01486CA951

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  2. Cleaning up the mess we’ve been making isn’t going to be cheap. A carbon tax can be used to protect and maintain the existing natural systems like our rain forests and the ocean.

    We will all feel the burden of the carbon tax, just as we all contribute to global warming.

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  3. [...] power company Duke Energy is the third-largest consumer of coal in the U.S., you’d think its forward-thinking CEO Jim Rogers would be upset about the government’s decision to effectively cut its financial support of [...]

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  4. [...] is marching to a tune sung more than a year ago by Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers. He sketched out his vision for an industry-friendly cap-and-trade system, arguing for lawmakers to “allocate allowances [...]

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