Global environmental challenges
Can semantics help save the planet?
A showdown between leaders of Chevron Corp and the Sierra Club on Wednesday night revealed a number of shared beliefs between the two California institutions, particularly about the need for a transparent way of pricing carbon.
The debate at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club on Wednesday night pitted Chevron CEO David O’Reilly against Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club, and both agreed that limiting carbon emissions should involve some sort of levy imposed by the government – if only there was a word for such a thing.
“It would be much cleaner if there was a transparent cost on carbon that one could see,” O’Reilly said.
The moderator suggested that was a ‘tax’. “Nobody wants to talk about it,” O’Reilly replied.
One can presume that Chevron Chief Executive David O’Reilly is not a fan of the current deep worldwide recession — which was worsened by a credit-market lockup blamed in part on hard-to-value securities.
Wednesday is the deadline for California’s gas stations to install sophisticated nozzles and hoses to control vapor emissions at the pump, and the Los Angeles Times reports that some one in five station owners are in open defiance of the new state order.
Gas station owners say that the new equipment is so expensive that buying it during the worst economic slump in decades would put them out of business.