The debate over clean energy is ripping open divisions in conservative
business lobbies. Debate on federal climate change legislation has led
an increasing number of businesses to leave the Chamber of Commerce,
the National Association of Manufacturers, and other business
associations because of those organizations' stances against
recognizing the scientific validity of climate change. The revolt has
been growing ever since a senior Chamber official called for a "Scopes monkey trial of the 21st century" to evaluate evidence of global warming.
Can investments in green jobs and energy efficiency revive our national economy? A new study,
which assesses job creation as a result of energy efficiency policies
in California over the last thirty years, argues that it can.
Decoupling increased utility profits from increased energy use is a key policy for promoting energy savings. Yet, some proposals, like the four-year decoupling pilot program just approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), may just be masking abuses of consumers under the guise of energy conservation.
California utility Southern Edison
distributing one million free compact fluorescent light bulbs to help low-income
families reduce their lighting costs. It also offered customers the
chance to exchange halogen lamps for new, energy-efficient Energy Star
fluorescent lamps. And, it offered energy-efficiency programs that have
saved more than four billion kilowatt hours - enough energy to power 500,000
homes for an entire year- and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than two
million tons, the equivalent of removing 250,000 cars from the road.