The Solution to Fracking – George H.W. Bush & Yoga?

george-hw-bush-profileIn responding to a note from a reader this morning, I realized how nostalgic I’ve become for the 80’s.  Hair and music aside, it was an unusual time when coal companies, power plants and Government worked together to fix an ecological disaster with business-friendly legislation.

As I’m sure you remember, coal-fired power plants were belching tons of sulfur dioxide from their smokestacks, which literally rained back down in the form of acid rain. The political groups, industry, environmentalists, and politicians came together and worked out a solution.

The government set a limit on the amount of sulfur dioxide that could be released in a year. Power companies were then given incentives to either install better technology, like scrubbers, or switch to a a different kind of coal. If the plants were able to cut their emissions above and beyond the reasonable limits, they could sell their gains to power companies struggling to meet the limit. It was reasonable, achievable, and market-driven. Plant workers kept their jobs, new technologies were developed and the lakes and forests began their recovery.

As we move through this point in time, let’s keep The Yoga Theorem in mind – the universal truth that the less flexible we are, the more we will suffer.

Maximilian Auffhammer, a George Pardee Associate Professor of International Sustainable Development at the University of California Berkeley, and expert in environmental and energy economics, with a specific focus on the impacts and regulation of climate change and air pollution wrote an interesting blog post -The Yoga Theroem applauding the flexibility of the EPA’s new carbon emissions policy.

I’m sure we’ve got Leaders on both sides of this issue who can  find a solution to our current fracking dilemma. I’m sure we can work a responsible, productive community to first protect our water, then incentive improved energy development techniques. As we move through this point in time, let’s keep The Yoga Theroem in mind – the universal truth that the less flexible we are, the more we will suffer.