Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Middle Finger of the South.

Hi! So I started writing this over the summer, but got distracted. Enjoy!

The Economist (a while ago): "Morton Marcus, a prominent local economist, calls [Indiana] 'the middle finger of the South thrust into the North.'"

Indiana is a rather dichotomous state. On July 21 and 22, the Indiana Office of Energy Development hosted an event called WIndiana. The conference focused on wind farming in Indiana, and according to the American Wind and Energy Association, "Indiana leads the nation in the growth of wind energy." On May 29th, Indiana celebrated the construction of Fowler Ridge Wind Farm, which will eventually produce 750 MW of wind energy (enough to power ~200,000 homes). However, only 2 out of 5 Dems in Indiana voted in favor of the climate change bill. The climate change bill is pretty flawed, but these Dems didn't oppose the climate change bill because of the $600 billion in forgone revenue (free permits vs. auctioned permits). They opposed the bill because they believed that stricter energy standards in Indiana would translate into a loss of jobs.

Indiana ranks 3rd in per capita consumption of coal (10.45 tons per year in 2007-2008) and approximately 94% of its electricity comes from coal. U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly opposed the clean energy bill because he believed that Indiana's manufacturing sector would no longer be able to compete with those of China and India if stricter clean energy standards were imposed. In the face of such difficult times, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity created this fabulous ad. I remember first hearing about this on Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! Oh, such wonderful things I learn from Peter Sagal and Carl Kassel!

Anyway, I think America needs to quit whining/blaming foreign competition and up its game. Also, I think it's ironic that poorer countries are most adamantly opposed to clean energy standards even though they will be hit the hardest by climate change. Although, their opposition is more understandable. If you have to choose between food in your stomach and clean air in your lungs, you're going to choose food. Mmm....food. Lunch time! Peace out!

Also, I'm going to post about expropriation/nationalization next. And I think you should all read Jenn's post about Chavez to prepare yourselves!

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