Venture capitalist John Doerr and GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt write in today’s Washington Post on the need for the U.S. to implement low carbon policies to fix America’s “competitiveness crisis.” An excerpt:
Today’s policies stifle American innovation and competitiveness. But good policy can flip this dynamic. Five basic changes are needed:
– Send a long-term signal that low-carbon energy is valuable. We must put a price on carbon and a cap on carbon emissions. No long-term signal means no serious innovation at scale, which means fewer American success stories.
– Get the rules of the road right for utilities. We must make our utilities a driving force for repowering America, driving efficiency through incentives, a renewable electricity standard and a national unified smart grid.
– Set energy standards that grow steadily stronger. America should strive to have the most efficient buildings, cars and appliances in the world. The savings will land in the pockets of U.S. consumers and businesses.
– Get serious about funding research, development and deployment, at scale. The federal government currently spends only $2.5 billion on clean-energy R&D a year — 0.25 percent of our annual energy bill. Sen. Jeff Bingaman’s Clean Energy Deployment Administration is a good idea that would be fast and flexible. But more such programs are needed.
– Fulfill President Obama’s commitment to “become the world’s leading exporter of renewable energy.” We need a robust trade policy that seeks to open markets abroad — including the Chinese market — for U.S. clean-energy products through new trade agreements. Such policies unleash American competitiveness disciplined by market forces. This is widely endorsed by U.S. companies that compete internationally and by the broad-based President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.
In other words, change policy so that Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and GE can make more money!