WCVE Forum June 5: Debate – Clean Energy Can Drive America’s Economic Recovery
From Intelligence Squared – To drag our economy out of the biggest crisis since the Great Depression, America needs another moon shot. Can the investment of billions into the clean energy sector trigger the creation of millions of jobs and innovation? Or would we simply be pumping dollars into the myth of a green economy?
For the Notion: The current administration expects its clean energy policies to generate 800,000 jobs over the next two years, laying the foundation for lasting economic growth. Consumers can save billions of dollars relying on clean energy sources and increasing energy efficiency, leaving more money to be spent on other goods and services. Major investment in clean energy will lead to innovation and new technology. Reducing dependence on imported energy frees us to spend our limited resources domestically and protects us from fluctuations in oil prices and climate change. Debating for the notion are Former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter and Kassia Yanosek. Ritter established Colorado as a national and international leader in renewable energy by building a New Energy Economy that is creating thousands of new jobs and establishing hundreds of new companies. Yanosek, an investment advisor to the energy sector, is founder of Tana Energy Capital LLC. She also serves as a Steering Committee member of the U.S. Partnership for Renewable Energy Finance, a group she co-founded in 2009 with other financiers from leading institutions to provide insights to U.S. government officials on renewable energy policy from a capital markets perspective.
Against the Notion: The Department of Energy’s own job creation estimates are far more modest than those of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. A significant portion of clean energy funding has gone to foreign companies who have the advantage of having been heavily subsidized by their own governments for a number of years. Clean energy jobs face the same problems any other industry faces--competition from cheap foreign labor. A real green economy wouldn’t rely on government regulation and taxpayer financed subsidies. Debating against the notion are Robert Bryce and Steven Hayward. Bryce is the author of several books, most recently Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future (2010) as well as being a former managing editor of the Houston-based online publication, Energy Tribune. Hayward, a writer who covers a wide range of public policy issues, is the author of Almanac of Environmental Trends and most recently Mere Environmentalism, an examination of the philosophical presuppositions underlying the environmental movement.
The moderator for this debate is John Donvan is a correspondent for ABC News Nightline.
Join us for WCVE Forum Sunday at 6:00 p.m. on WCVE Public Radio.