Conservation Update - June 2014

By: Lucas Sabalka

A recent study by Regional Economic Modeling, Inc. (REMI) looks at the theoretical effects of the carbon tax and rebate legislation similar to what CCL proposes.  It finds that the tax would create over 2 million jobs by 2025, and save 13,000 lives a year.
 
73% of rural Nebraskans think global climate change is happening (13% think it is not).  54% think human activity is a significant cause.  60% think we will need to do something in their lifetime to deal with the adverse affects of global warming.  50% think we need to do something right now (21% disagree).
 
Belief in global warming is at 51% among Republican voters (more for young Republicans), with 24% denying it.  GOP lawmakers are testing messaging that will resonate with core voters and independents.
 
69% of Americans see global warming as a serious problem.  70% of Americans support limiting global warming emissions from power plants.  63% who say they'd support regulations that significantly lowered emissions even if their bills increased $20 per month.  54% of conservatives support state-level limits on greenhouse gas emissions.
 
Newly released DOE data shows that states with more wind energy saw electric rates drop in the last 5 years while states with less wind have higher rates.
 
Citigroup has joined a torrent of analysts, including Lazard, Credit Suisse, McKinsey and Company, Sanford Bernstein, and Morningstar, saying that the transition from fossil fuels to renewables for energy generation has begun.
 
A common critique of efforts to combat global warming is that they are too expensive.  In many places, including the Northeast US, efforts to combat global warming have been accompanied by better-than-average economic growth.
 
A new Ceres report finds that there are three major threat to U.S. corn production: climate change, unsustainable water use and inefficient fertilizer practices. The report “provides recommendations for how corn-buying companies and their investors can catalyze more sustainable agricultural practices, while helping farmers preserve and enhance yields, and protect precious water resources.
 
Henry Paulson Jr., former Secretary of the Treasury (served July 2006 – January 2009), writes an op-ed arguing for America to take urgent action on climate change. Drawing on his conservative ideology and hindsight regarding the credit bubble burst in 2008 and ensuing financial crisis, Paulson warns that waiting to act on climate poses a huge risk that will result in devastating environmental and economic consequences. He says, “With that experience indelibly affecting my perspective, viewing climate change in terms of risk assessment and risk management makes clear to me that taking a cautiously conservative stance – that is, waiting for more information before acting – is actually taking a very radical risk. We’ll never know enough to resolve all of the uncertainties. But we know enough to recognize that we must act now.”