Monday, March 9, 2009

Thomas Friedman lectures Oregon governor on carbon pricing


New York Times columnist and author Thomas Friedman spoke at noon today at Portland State University about the dual opportunities presented by the climate crisis and financial crisis while Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski listened from the front row. At times, Friedman addressed the governor directly (though not by name), calling on elected officials in general and governors in particular, to institute regulations that put a price on carbon dioxide emissions. The Oregon Legislature is in the midst of a controversial debate over a statewide cap and trade program, which was proposed by the governor but has faced criticism from some industry lobbyists who fear the program would undermine economic growth (see my Green Inc. post from last month on the state's cap and trade efforts).

Energy technology will be the next great industrial revolution, said Friedman, "but whatever you invent always has to compete against cheaper fuels." Placing a price on carbon, whether through a carbon tax or a cap and trade system, helps level the playing field for low-carbon technologies, he said, looking directly at the governor. "Without a price signal that makes dirty fuels more expensive, we won't get a clean, green revolution," said Friedman.

He then admonished the crowd of some 1,300 students and members of the general public attending the free event to "change your leaders, not your light bulbs" if elected officials aren't producing the kinds of regulations the green revolution needs to reach mass adoption.

2 comments:

orftc said...

Affluent Traders of Oregon welcomed Tom Friedman to Portland today, celebrating the man the San Francisco Chronicle has called the "high priest of free market fundamentalism.

Check out the YouTube video at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsfGu9muD0Y

I think we can all agree that American simply wouldn't be where it is today without the free market policies championed by High Priest Friedman.

Heroinhead said...
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