Last year, after successfully being vilified as “Cap-and-Tax,” Cap-and-Trade was defeated.
Not that we were all that upset about it…
After all, cap-and-trade was a very complex solution to an easily rectifiable problem.
That doesn’t mean it wouldn’t have worked; a similar scheme to cap sulfur dioxide back in 1990 proved successful…
Initiated by former president George H.W. Bush, the program enabled power plants to decrease emissions of sulfur dioxide by 64 percent, saving $120 billion in pollution and health costs over the past 20 years.
Though I would argue that had President Bush tried something like that these days, he would’ve been stopped in his tracks by special interest influence and media-manipulated “patriots” who still haven’t figured out that those who wish to protect the environment are not all “crazy treehuggers” with socialist agendas…
Of course, anyone who thinks the environment should be nothing more than an afterthought should spend a few days on the streets of Beijing in the summertime. There’s a reason Beijing traffic cops don’t typically live past 50 — and it ain’t job stress!
Regardless, the final nail was put in the cap-and-trade coffin last year. And as we venture into 2011, some republicans are making their first order of business to take aim at the EPA’s attempt to regulate emissions.
A new game of chicken
The incoming chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Fred Upton, has called the EPA’s emissions standards a “power grab that will kill millions of jobs.”
Of course, Upton doesn’t have an ounce of objective data to back up this “job-killing” claim…
But the Michigan congressman was correct when he said the Obama administration and the EPA had imposed these regulations because they couldn’t accomplish their goals through legislation.
While it was clear the current administration would’ve preferred legislation over EPA regulation, there really was little chance that a cap-and-trade bill would have made it to the president’s desk.
And the EPA regulations were in the president’s back pocket the whole time, labeled “Plan B”.
So a new game of chicken is now emerging: an army of chest-pounding republicans on one side and the EPA on the other.
The question now is Who will flinch first?
Jobs = Votes
While the republicans are starting off optimistically aggressive, there’s no way the president or the EPA is going to roll over on this one…
But both sides have an opportunity here to claim victory.
One way or another, new pollution controls will emerge over the next two years. And if both sides play their cards right, these controls won’t come in the form of burdensome regulations — but in the form of support for alternatives to highly pollutive power generation.
In other words: less focus on conjured-up schemes to limit greenhouse gas emissions, and more focus on power-generation sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal — all which offer immediate results, as none carry with them the heavy burden of greenhouse gas emissions.
And don’t kid yourself — more conservatives roaming the halls of Congress in 2011 is not necessarily bad news for alternative energy, either…
After all, a sizable portion of new solar and wind manufacturing is happening (and growing) in red states.
And don’t think for a second that town hall screamers waving Gadsden flags will ever be loud enough to drown out the bureaucratic boasting of job creation.
Doesn’t matter which side of the aisle you call home… jobs = votes!
Don’t get me wrong; our lawmakers still don’t have the stones to offer up the kind of alternative energy support you’ll find in China or India. Oil and coal money got a lot of people elected last year, and those congressional clowns aren’t going to bite the hands that feed them.
But that’s actually the reason you’ll see more support for alternatives this year, and less support for regulation.
Either way, this is good news for alternative energy advocates and alternative energy investors.
A profitable 2011
This year, we expect to continue profiting from solar giants like JA Solar (NASDAQ: JASO) and Trina Solar (NYSE: TSL).
We’re also extremely bullish on new solar technology firms, as cheap Chinese solar is upping the ante for U.S. technological prowess.
Wind turbine plays will still be shaky in 2011, but wind farm developers that are properly funded will do very well this year — particularly Western Wind Energy Corp (TSX-V: WND), which recently completed the financing for its 120 MW wind farm in California and its 10.5 MW wind and solar project in Kingman, Arizona.
And of course, there will be a mountain of new opportunities in electric vehicles, geothermal power, and energy efficiency, too… all of which we’ll continue to bring you throughout the year.
Yes, my friends, it’s going to be an extremely profitable year for all of us.
And I can’t wait to help you get a piece of the action.
To a new way of life, and a new generation of wealth…
Editor, Energy and Capital