Distinguishing Climate Policy and Energy Policy

July 26th, 2004

Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr.

Yesterday’s New York Times included interesting story on the expected costs of climate change regulations to the auto industry. This excerpt is worth highlighting:

“”As a U.S. auto analyst, I’m very concerned about the risk side of the equation,” said [John A. Casesa, an analyst at Merrill Lynch]. “For the domestic auto companies, we’ve had an accommodating energy policy, but there are new issues like climate change, and there are new geopolitical issues, defense issues, that relate to our energy policy.

“There’s the potential for a confluence of events to occur,” he added. “Americans could be more concerned about climate change, while at the same time we try to reduce our dependence on the Middle East for oil, for national security or political reasons. If these two strands come together, that would put a lot of pressure on policy makers, which would invariably lead back to higher fuel-economy standards.””

For the most part, advocates of climate mitigation policies have ignored one of these strands.

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