10 Steps to a Low-Carbon Economy?

The Center for American Progress just released its 10-step plan to a Low-Carbon Economy.  Based on an early look at the summary pages, great stuff and, well, ho-hum, and well, missing elements.  But, looking forward to seeing the full report.

Here is a quick summary of the ten-point, two page summary with some quick analysis:

  1.  Economy-wide cap and trade program with 100% auctioning.  Yes.  Support.
  2. Eliminate Federal tax breaks and subsidies for oil and gas.  Yes, check.  Why not coal as well?
  3. Increase vehicle fuel economy.  Check, yes, but the summary element is neither aggressive enough or providing enough detail.  We are on the cusp of major PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) breakthroughs, with an ability for the Federal government to truly spark them into the marketplace. Even in a paragraph on “vehicle fuel economy”, I would have hoped to see PHEVs called out. And, by the way, PHEVs also mean buses, trucks, and other vehicles (including, trains …).
  4. Increase production and availability of alternative low-carbon fuels.  Well, es, but not necessarily “a dramatic increase in the production and use of bio-based fuels” if this means a ramp up in corn ethanol using current processes. 
  5. Invest in low-carbon transportation infrastructure including local mass-transit, high-speed rail, green city programs … great, again want the details.
  6. Improve efficiency in energy generation, transmission, and consumption.  YES!  But, come off it, 10 percent energy savings threshold?  This seems extremely weak.
  7. Increase the production of renewable electricity.  Again, yes, but 25 percent by 2025 is rather weak as a target.
  8. Use carbon capture and storage systems to capture and bury the caron emissions from burning coal.  Okay.  This is still truly PowerPoint deep in the ability to deploy.  Does this merit a point in a ten-point plan?  And, why not simply call for elimination of coal-fired electricity unless coal-fired plants cannot match some target for aggressive reduction of CO2 and other emissions.
  9. Create a White House Energy Council.  Absolutely. Great.
  10. Lead efforts to advance international global warming policies.  Excellent as well.

Overall, details desired … and, well, just released. (This post is based on a two-page advance release.)

Suspiciously, much of this reads like Hillary’s energy plan

And, there are not serious enough calls for arenas which might not be Silver Bullets, but are definite silver BBs.   For example, along the lines of Architecture 2030 and making homes/infrastructure carbon-neutral by 2030.

Again, this is based on a two-page summary of the ten-point plan.  Based on that summary, some YES, some NO, and some WHY ISN’T IT THERE?  Time to go and look at the report itself for more details.


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