Then David Leonhardt makes exactly the same point in his NYT essay on how Congress can boost growth and stave off the dreaded double-dip recession. He notes that health insurance reform and financial reform are already helping businesses make decisions.
One big piece of uncertainty remains, though: energy. Several energy chief executives have said they have major projects ready to go, if only they knew what was going to happen to the cost of emitting carbon. The same is no doubt true of nonenergy companies trying to make decisions about new buildings and factories.
The Senate still has a small window to pass an energy bill this summer. A good bill would include a cap on power plant emissions, making clear how much more expensive those emissions would become. Such a bill wouldn’t help only the climate, as Jim Rogers of Duke Energy says. It would be a form of stimulus, too [David Leonhardt, "5 Ways Congress Can Bolster Growth," New York Times, 2010.07.06].
As I've said, and as my friends at Repower America have said, let's finish the job on energy security legislation so the marketplace can get to work. Senator Tim Johnson knows energy security legislation will be good for South Dakota—he said so at the Heartland open house yesterday (I'll buy an ice cream cone for the first person who can send me a photo of Russell Olson applauding those lines!). Unfortunately, Johnson also said cap and trade won't pass the Senate—nertz! Time to swing the big stick, Senator Johnson, get your colleagues on board, and pass some energy legislation to help the environment and the economy!
Related: Senator Johnson told the nice people at the Heartland shindig yesterday that energy security legislation will promote the production of low-cost electricity. Matt McGovern of Repower America agrees: he tells KJAM that reports of the impending demise of your pocketbook due to green energy are greatly exaggerated... by the oil industry and corporate interests determined to squeeze every dollar they can from an outdated, unsustainable energy business model.
Also Related: The Obama Administration is following through on a campaign promise to clean up the air in the eastern U.S. Per direction of the courts, the EPA is issuing a revamped version of the Clean Air Interstate Rule (originally proposed by that crazy socialist greenie and destroyer of the economy President George W. Bush) to require coal-fired plants east of the Mississippi to drastically reduce sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions by 2014. The plan includes pollution credit trading.