An oil industry leader and a major California environmentalist agree on the steps the United States must take to address climate change and increase national energy independence-but they have markedly different ideas about how long it will take to reach those goals. Today's North Bay Report is a preview summary of their conversation.
Chevron and the Sierra Club both see renewable fuels as a growing part of our future. Yet as the world transitions to a low-carbon economy, they have different views on how that change should occur and who should bear the costs. Higher taxes? Voluntary conservation and efficiency? Government mandates? In their first-ever public conversation, Chevron CEO Dave O'Reilly and Carl Pope, Executive Director of the The Sierra Club, discuss balancing energy and the environment in the 21st century. The conversation, which was recorded live on June 10, 2009, was moderated by Alan Murray, Deputy Managing Editor of The Wall Street Journal. Hear it in full here.
Although the climate protection legislation passed by the House of Representatives includes a cap and trade provision, to "monetize" co2 emissions, both speakers said they favor a simple carbon tax or fee instead. Dave O'Reilly (left) offered several reasons why that would be preferable.
Pope (right) and O'Reilly were also in agreement on the desirability of quickly reducing our national dependence on coal to generate much of the country's electricity. Pope was adamant about the need to more strictly regulate the coal industry in many respects.
While O'Reilly agreed with Pope's forecast that this country and the world will need to move toward renewable fuels for vehicles and transportation, he expects the transition will take far longer than Pope's projections.