Duke Energy CEO Argues Against Emissions Auctions

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?