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FRED
03-19-08, 01:39 PM
http://www.itulip.com/images/janszen_250px.jpgWired Magazine Interview with Eric Janszen

Eric Janszen's new book will discuss the painful structural changes he says are coming to the U.S. economy.

As the mortgage and financial crisis continues to notch more victims, the question on many economists' minds is not whether a recession will happen, but how deep it will get and how long it will last. But one prominent voice thinks the high-flying finance industry isn't going to bounce back -- and that we'll need to look elsewhere to set the U.S. economy back on firm footing.

In a widely discussed <cite>Harper's</cite> article in February, "The Next Bubble: Priming the Markets for Tomorrow's Crash (http://www.harpers.org/archive/2008/02/0081908)," Janszen argued that clean tech is the only sector that could create enough "fictitious value" to replace the losses from the housing bubble, if only temporarily.

Neither a clean-tech skeptic nor a booster, he wrote, "Given the current state of our economy, the only thing worse than a new bubble would be its absence."

Wired.com recently spoke with Janszen to discuss the state of the economy, his plan to pay for alternative energy with a tariff on oil, and how running fiber to your home is good energy policy.

Wired: Though you focus on clean tech, you are making a broader argument about the U.S. economy and its reliance on the finance industry. How is the economy now bubble-based?

Eric Janszen: The elevator pitch is that we've gone through a series of asset-price inflations that started back in 1995. What really kicked the whole series off were some changes that the Feds made to the U.S. banking system to get us out of the recession that we were in during the early 1990s. That facilitated the beginnings of a growth in credit that supported the two bubbles: internet and real estate. more... (http://www.wired.com/science/planetearth/news/2008/03/cleantech_bubble)

bill
03-19-08, 02:12 PM
Janszen: One way to do it is to put a floating tariff on the price of oil and gradually raise the price up to $200 or $300 a barrel. As long as you do it gradually, the economy can respond to it (http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.12/gas.html). That's the beauty of our system. It has responded very calmly to an increase from $20 to $100. The economy hasn't collapsed. It's definitely slowing, but it's not wrecking it. You could create a process that gradually forced a lot of relatively painless transition without wrecking the economy.

Why not use a carbon tax plan, taxing oil usage rather a tariff?

seanm123
03-19-08, 08:14 PM
RE: Communications is also a big part of it. If the high-level objective is to reduce the energy intensity of the U.S. economy, why don't we run fiber-optic cable to everyone's house (http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/news/2000/10/39648)? That will support applications to allow people to stop commuting.

EJ, a fiber roll out to every home is not needed even though Verizon is now rolling it out, and cable bandwidth technologies already have been available in various forms for the last 12 years or so. Technologies like Windows Terminal Services and Citrix make telecommuting a breeze and take most of the bandwidth considerations out of the equation.

The archaic model and inefficiency of the 9-5 workday with a long commute need futher incentives or legislation forcing businesses to adopt models like IBM or Best Buy, who embrace telecommuting and ending the overhead of expensive office space.

Companies and their hierarchal model lend themselves to adopting rules of work that force people to show up at the office to put in a days work by sitting at a desk whacking away at a keyboard.

Then their is the personal validation that many in management get by showing up first at work, first at a meeting etc. It is almost one of a nonsexual sadism, If you have ever observed managements facial expressions of a frown or the occassional verbal "we were waiting for you" when you show up a minute later than the time showing on their watch then you know where I am coming from.

Allot has to change to force a majority of companies to rewrite the rules of work and bandwidth has little to do with it in this day and age.

EJ
03-20-08, 12:37 AM
Good points.

Cable is more economical, of course, and will bring all the bandwidth needed.

The cultural/behavioral change needed to replace petro-chemical commuting with tele-communing will be facilitated by the downturn.

Which is simpler? Carbon tax or higher prices? Both are regressive, so policy will have to cope with the issue either way.

seanm123
03-20-08, 10:13 AM
Good points.

Cable is more economical, of course, and will bring all the bandwidth needed.

The cultural/behavioral change needed to replace petro-chemical commuting with tele-communing will be facilitated by the downturn.

Which is simpler? Carbon tax or higher prices? Both are regressive, so policy will have to cope with the issue either way.

EJ,
<o>

</o> Offer a carrot instead of a stick.
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Most executives today feel that business is already overregulated by all levels of government. A carbon tax if instituted at the State level would give many businesses the option to simply move to friendly States. A Federal program will take too long and waste too much money and there are bound to be loopholes courtesy of Congress. Initally higher gasoline prices will just bring back more failed programs like ride sharing and diamond lanes on the highways. $300 a barrel would send our economy and business into a tailspin that they would not have enough time to recover from.

Corporate tax cuts or rebates would work. Business will respond positively and faster to tax cuts and rebates, especially cuts that will show a direct effect on the bottom line and that is what the board rooms want to see come up in their monthly meetings.

I am sure our legislators can come up with a graduated scale of incentives starting with perhaps initially one day a week of telecommuting for tax cuts or rebates. The effects would be immediate on the oil market, and the strength of the dollar.

bill
03-20-08, 01:03 PM
Green trading policies are currently a heavy debated subject.
From the CFR site article a few good links.
http://www.cfr.org/publication/15715/climate_policy_and_trade.html?breadcrumb=%2F
Policy Clash Looms between Trade and Climate

March 12, 2008
<TABLE class=author-table cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 border=0><TBODY><TR><TH>Author: </TH><TD class=authors>Toni Johnson (http://www.cfr.org/bios/13408/toni_johnson.html)
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>


http://www.cfr.org/content/publications/images/green_exports_6.jpg Steel imports, from countries such as China, could face green tariffs under climate change proposals being considered by the U.S. Congress. (AP/Imaginechina)

Canada’s ambassador sent a letter (PDF) (http://media.ft.com/cms/67ed53dc-edfe-11dc-a5c1-0000779fd2ac.pdf) to U.S. officials in February warning that an overly broad interpretation of the Energy Independence and Security Act (http://www.cfr.org/publication/15112/), signed into law in December 2007, could actually prohibit the United States government from importing oil. The law prohibits the import of alternative fuels with higher greenhouse-gas emissions than conventional petroleum sources. Canada points out this might be read to include oil from tar sands, which makes up the bulk of the oil Canada sends to the United States. Canada is the largest single supplier of oil to the United States, thanks in part to the North American Free Trade Agreement (http://www.cfr.org/publication/8574/) (NAFTA).
The concerns raised by the Canadian embassy highlight a looming clash between climate change policy and U.S. commitments to free trade. After years in which the United States declined to take part in the multilateral approach to climate policy, (http://www.cfr.org/publication/15057/) symbolized by the Kyoto Protocol (http://www.cfr.org/publication/8864/), U.S. lawmakers appear ready to push through climate change legislation. But lawmakers worry about U.S. competitiveness. They want to discourage industries from relocating abroad to avoid climate regulation. They also want to ensure foreign producers don’t get a “free ride” on greenhouse-gas regulations when U.S. industries are forced to comply. Under pending proposals (PDF) (http://www.rff.org/rff/News/Releases/2007Releases/loader.cfm?url=/commonspot/security/getfile.cfm&PageID=29353), U.S. lawmakers are weighing several options that would penalize foreign trading partners if they do not take steps to reduce emissions during the production of commodities for the U.S. market. But the import taxes, labeling specifications, and requirements to purchase emissions permits being proposed are in conflict with the notion of free trade, say some experts. The European Union, in particular, is considering such measures (EurActiv) (http://www.euractiv.com/en/climate-change/eu-us-eye-wto-free-trade-pact-climate-friendly-goods/article-168828), many of them directed at producers in the United States.
U.S. lawmakers and environmental advocates believe these measures would fall within World Trade Organization (http://www.cfr.org/publication/9386/) (WTO) rules covering environmental standards. But some experts disagree. Although the WTO allows discriminatory actions by members for environmental concerns, such measures must be proved not to be arbitrary, overly onerous, or merely using the environment as a means to erect covert trade barriers. International trade lawyer Bernd G. Janzen says that to date, the WTO’s rulings on these issues offer little in the way of guidelines (http://www.metrocorpcounsel.com/current.php?artType=view&artMonth=March&artYear=2008&EntryNo=8014) for U.S. or other policymakers. A report from the National Foreign Trade Council, a U.S.-based trade advocacy group, points to a 1994 WTO ruling (PDF) (http://www.nftc.org/default/trade/WTO/Climate%20Change%20Paper.pdf) that prevented the United States from imposing an auto import tax on based on fuel efficiency standards.
Gary Clyde Hufbauer, an economist at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, told U.S. lawmakers earlier this month that almost all environmentally based trade restrictions (PDF) (http://energycommerce.house.gov/cmte_mtgs/110-eaq-hrg.030508.Hufbauer-testimony.pdf) stand a good chance of a WTO challenge. He says such restrictions could spark retaliation on U.S. exports. Sebastian Mallaby, director of CFR’s Center for Geoeconomic Studies, says the potential destabilizing force (http://www.cfr.org/publication/15684/) of green tariffs on existing international trade deals should be assessed before finishing a new round of global trade talks. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a powerful proponent of free trade, suggests a better climate policy solution would be liberalizing the trade of clean energy technologies (PDF) (http://energycommerce.house.gov/cmte_mtgs/110-eaq-hrg.030508.Wenk-testimony.pdf). The Bush administration and European Union are both pushing for an end to clean-technology tariffs (http://www.state.gov/g/oes/rls/rm/2007/96703.htm) currently imposed by other countries. The administration has also warned against imposing the type of tariffs being proposed in Congress and the European Union.
A number of policy groups, including the Center for American Progress, suggest climate trade restrictions should be policy “tools of last resort (http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2008/03/climate_trade.html).” Instead they suggest engaging countries in multilateral or bilateral climate agreements. A 2008 World Bank report notes that many climate measures focus on production methods and processes (PDF) (http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2007/11/15/000310607_20071115153905/Rendered/PDF/41453optmzd0PA101OFFICIAL0USE0ONLY1.pdf), which it suggests could be crucial to finding a regime that can pass WTO muster. The WTO recently upheld a U.S. ban on imported shrimp trawled without protective measures for sea turtles. In that ruling, the WTO noted that the disputants were all signatories of the same endangered species treaty. Such reasoning, the report says, could be applied to climate and trade policy clashes between nations.

A carbon intensity tax could be placed on oil using products.


In the United States, a range of proposals are on the table in Congress, including measures requiring, as a condition of entry into the U.S. market, the submission of verifiable emission allowances by importers of greenhouse gas-intensive goods to cover the emissions released during production. Other proposals include the establishment of a performance “carbon intensity” standard that would apply to all energy intensive products produced domestically and overseas. The performance standard would effectively set a limit on the amount of carbon that could be emitted during the production of specific greenhouse gas intensive products, regardless of the country where the production took place.

Slimprofits
03-20-08, 03:15 PM
Mark Cuban: (http://www.blogmaverick.com/2007/08/24/the-internet-is-dead-and-boring/)

In fact, if you index the expected growth in bandwidth consumption by applications that are heavy LAST MILE bandwidth users (as opposed to the Internet backbone where there is plenty of bandwidth but consumers cant get to it) vs the actual increase in LAST MILE bandwidth available to the home, our net effective throughput to the home could decline over the next few years. The Internet is like a highway. There is plenty of room for everyone to go as fast as the throughput will let you go, that is until the traffic forces everyone to slow down.

bill
03-20-08, 03:30 PM
How about a new bank first.

http://www.csis.org/component/option,com_csis_congress/task,view/id,252/


Mar 13, 2008
Felix Rohatyn on an Infrastructure Investment Bank
Ambassador Felix Rohatyn, a CSIS trustee, testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs about the need to revitalize investment in America’s aging and ailing infrastructure.
<!--end-->Ambassador Felix G. Rohatyn is a vice chairman to Lehman Brothers

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felix_Rohatyn

Felix George Rohatyn (born May 29 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_29), 1928 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1928) in Vienna, Austria (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vienna%2C_Austria)) is an American (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States) investment banker (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Investment_bank) known for his role in preventing the bankruptcy of New York City (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City) in the 1970s

Dodd ,3-11-08


Senator Hagel and I have offered one such idea: A National Infrastructure Bank, which would establish a unique and powerful public-private partnership.

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h110-3401


(b) Financing Packages- The Board is authorized--
(1) to act as a centralized entity to provide financing for qualified infrastructure projects;
(2) to issue general purpose infrastructure bonds, and to provide direct subsidies to qualified infrastructure projects from amounts made available from the issuance of such bonds;
(3) to issue project-based infrastructure bonds for the financing of specific qualified infrastructure projects;
(4) to provide loan guarantees to State or local governments issuing debt to finance qualified infrastructure projects, under rules prescribed by the Board, in a manner similar to that described in chapter 6 of title 23, United States Code;
(5) to issue loans, at varying interest rates, including very low interest rates, to qualified project sponsors for qualified projects;
(6) to leverage resources and stimulate public and private investment in infrastructure; and
(7) to encourage States to create additional opportunities for the financing of infrastructure projects.

seanm123
03-20-08, 07:48 PM
Mark Cuban: (http://www.blogmaverick.com/2007/08/24/the-internet-is-dead-and-boring/)

Babbittd, the progress concerning transmission capacities of fiber links has been significantly faster than for example the progress in the speed or storage capacity of computers. Laser Physics and Multiplexing technologies have yet to prove to be of any concern that technical limitations to fiber-optic data transmission could become severe in the foreseeable future.

The last mile should be of no concern, take the technologies being rolled out in Japan or South Korea or here in the States by Verizon and others. Couple available bandwidth with the application compression and remote desktop technologies already available. There should be no concern, that the existing systems could not support tens of millions of telecommuters.

I worked for Verizon for a stint and I can say there is allot of spare capacity using the existing deployed technologies even with all of the streaming video,audio, stateful and stateless bandwidth usage going on.

brucec42
03-21-08, 01:14 AM
My wife worked at a six figure job for a company and telecommuted one day a week for 2 years. But they insisted she be there the other 4 days. This required us to maintain a 2nd home in a different city and fly or drive back/forth on weekends.

Meanwhile, at her office, 99% of all communication was conducted via email, IM, or phone. Her work was done on a PC connected to the central server both at the office and at home. Her coworkers were actually located on different floors of a large building. Her boss worked on another floor and she saw her about once a week. The rest of it was phone contact and email. Basically zero reason to be there physically more than maybe one day a week. Yet they rented this very large, very expensive building for employees after running out of space at a previous location.

I'm wary of govn't participation in this kind of thing, but something creative in the realm of tax credits might open these guys' minds up more to the possibilities. Anything to get through to these technological dinosaurs. Think how much less one could pay employees if they were freed of the burden of a 1.5 hour commute each way in traffic from the suburbs. Think of the office space savings.

Oh yeah, btw, this company's stock is lurking at about 10% of what it was last summer and I'm enjoying the large severance package they paid her when they laid her off. Actually it's invested in gold.

She was then was offered a job by a large software company, but only if she moved accross the nation. This company makes software for use by telecommuters. Her role involved working with her old company here on the opposite side of the nation. Yet they still have that old fashioned compulsion to have her there, in person. Even though much of the time she would have just been on planes flying through our city here to her old office. Just insane.

Jim Nickerson
03-21-08, 01:25 AM
My wife worked at a six figure job for a company and telecommuted one day a week for 2 years. But they insisted she be there the other 4 days. This required us to maintain a 2nd home in a different city and fly or drive back/forth on weekends.

Meanwhile, at her office, 99% of all communication was conducted via email, IM, or phone. Her work was done on a PC connected to the central server both at the office and at home. Her coworkers were actually located on different floors of a large building. Her boss worked on another floor and she saw her about once a week. The rest of it was phone contact and email. Basically zero reason to be there physically more than maybe one day a week. Yet they rented this very large, very expensive building for employees after running out of space at a previous location.

I'm wary of govn't participation in this kind of thing, but something creative in the realm of tax credits might open these guys' minds up more to the possibilities. Anything to get through to these technological dinosaurs. Think how much less one could pay employees if they were freed of the burden of a 1.5 hour commute each way in traffic from the suburbs. Think of the office space savings.

Oh yeah, btw, this company's stock is lurking at about 10% of what it was last summer and I'm enjoying the large severance package they paid her when they laid her off. Actually it's invested in gold.

She was then was offered a job by a large software company, but only if she moved accross the nation. This company makes software for use by telecommuters. Her role involved working with her old company here on the opposite side of the nation. Yet they still have that old fashioned compulsion to have her there, in person. Even though much of the time she would have just been on planes flying through our city here to her old office. Just insane.

So you are amenable to the government rewarding stupidity. That should work in the U.S.

metalman
03-21-08, 02:17 AM
So you are amenable to the government rewarding stupidity. That should work in the U.S.

think you misunderstood him... he's saying the government needs to nudge overpaid ceo dumbo to not piss away energy heating and cooling a building and forcing his employees to burn fuel driving to and from it so they can sit at a computer all day just like they do at home. you'd think he'd do that to save money but doesn't.

push oil up to $300 and i bet you don't need a dollar of tax incentives. at that price j6p sits at home and the buildings are converted into post housing bust public housing projects. need to commute to actually make widgets? take public transport.

seanm123
03-21-08, 08:44 AM
Here is a decent article explaining how it can be done. Best Buy is a good example, although it's retail store employees don't get flex hours, the corporate employees have instituted a new model that trashes the traditional 9-5 job with a commute. This was all done virally under the radar. The CEO was told after they had measured the productivity results.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16040492/

Even if of only a third of the 100 million of so people who get into a car every day and commute to work were to telecommute, the impact of say foreign oil imports would be enormous.

This article has a few calculations and estimates.

http://undress4success.com/tell-the-middle-east-to-pound-sand/

touchring
03-21-08, 09:51 AM
Biofuel stocks got hit badly recently from the commodity price collapse. Any good stock worth considering at this point? This area seems to be complex and full of mine fields.

Jim Nickerson
03-21-08, 10:37 AM
think you misunderstood him... he's saying the government needs to nudge overpaid ceo dumbo to not piss away energy heating and cooling a building and forcing his employees to burn fuel driving to and from it so they can sit at a computer all day just like they do at home. you'd think he'd do that to save money but doesn't.

push oil up to $300 and i bet you don't need a dollar of tax incentives. at that price j6p sits at home and the buildings are converted into post housing bust public housing projects. need to commute to actually make widgets? take public transport.


No, I didn't misunderstand anything. If one must be rewarded not to waste resources, when not wasting would save money, then to give them other people's money to induce rational behavior is blantantly rewarding stupidity.

metalman
03-21-08, 10:48 AM
No, I didn't misunderstand anything. If one must be rewarded not to waste resources, when not wasting them would save money, then to give them other people's money to induce rational behavior is blantantly rewarding stupidity.

creating a tax incentive for mr. moron ceo to give his employees $$$ so they can either work in their home or rent space in a soon to be abandoned commercial building nearby is what ej's talked about here.

c1ue
03-21-08, 01:59 PM
Here is a decent article explaining how it can be done. Best Buy is a good example, although it's retail store employees don't get flex hours, the corporate employees have instituted a new model that trashes the traditional 9-5 job with a commute. This was all done virally under the radar. The CEO was told after they had measured the productivity results.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16040492/

Even if of only a third of the 100 million of so people who get into a car every day and commute to work were to telecommute, the impact of say foreign oil imports would be enormous.

This article has a few calculations and estimates.

http://undress4success.com/tell-the-...to-pound-sand/

Here's a question:

Once you've made it unnecessary to have an office and where everyone telecommutes, what prevents all those jobs from telecommuting via China, India, Brazil, or some other place?

World Traveler
03-21-08, 11:49 PM
I'm very familiar with a large corporation that has done major off-shoring of multiple functions, including Information Technology, Accounting, Procurement, Benefits and Payroll, etc., etc.

Acc to my inside contacts (and I have many there), the results have not lived up to expectations, especially in terms of cost savings. Managment is disappointed.

Turnover is VERY high in many of these offshore sites, much higher than anticipated. The quality of work products has also suffered, English is not their native language, there's a lack of "deep knowledge" in offshore sites of company's business processes, and surprisngly (or maybe not), most people offshore work their 8 hours and they're gone till tomorrow. They don't seem to have same "work comes first before the rest of my life" ethic that many professional Americans have.

I have worked in a corporate IS environment that was organized for the "24 hour clock". If Americans couldn't solve a problem, it was passed on to the Asians, and if Asians couldn't solve that problem in their part of of the 24 hour clock, off the problem went to the Europeans. It could be difficult at times to figure out who had done what and when, etc. Quality and seamlessnes of performace would be impacted.

Another issue that seems to be impacting offshoring at the moment is the fall of the dollar. It's not as cheap off-shore as it used to be.

c1ue
03-22-08, 12:34 PM
WT,

Can you quantify what the cost savings expectations were and what was actually achieved?

Also I would be interested to know the timing of this activity - to get a grasp on where the info fits in a historical trend.

World Traveler
03-22-08, 02:40 PM
I'll be as specific as I can. This a multi-national U.S. corporation and in the past, in-country support centers supported its business processes in that particular country, U.S. being the biggest single country for its businesses.

Starting in early 2000's, there was a multi-year project to set up and relocate support for U.S. businesses to off-shore business support centers. There were rolling lay-offs in the U.S. for 6 years as this corporation set up new business centers in Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, and South America (the "cone" area, southern half of South America). These centers were set up to handle back-office support for U.S. business activities.

It hired locals of these countries as employees, not contractors. The ratio was 1:1, for example, if a local in Asia or South America was hired to handle a componenet of processing U.S. invoices or a part of U.S. accounting activities, the U.S. job disappeared.

Regarding cost impact and savings, I do not know any details. It appears these are not widely disseminated in that corporation.

I am told by current employees that the rumour mill (which is usually pretty accurate) is saying that there is now a "pause" and re-assessment going on re: off-shoring, for all the reasons stated in my last post. There have been no U.S. lay-offs in over a year and the off-shoring projects have been wound down.

Slimprofits
03-24-08, 09:07 PM
How about a new bank first.

Also from that hearing we find out that the Chamber of Commerce, AFL-CIO, the American Society for Engineers, and Goldman Sachs all back the Investment bank.

The ASCE talked about a need for better oversight and regulation of PPPs (http://banking.senate.gov/_files/MONGANASCE_3112008_FINAL.pdf).

The Chamber of Commerce is going all out in an effort to "make infrastructure a core national economic priority." (http://banking.senate.gov/_files/KAVINOKYUSCCTestimony031108.pdf)

And this from Ron Blackwell, the chief economist of the AFL-CIO (http://banking.senate.gov/_files/BLACKWELLTestimonyinfrastructure031108.pdf), bubble-talk:



...It is important to bear in mind that the two most recent economic expansions – the recovery from the 1990 recession and the recovery from the 2001 recession – were very different than previous recoveries since the Second World War. Earlier recoveries were ended through actions by the Federal Reserve to stanch inflation. The last two recoveries, like many in the pre-WWII period, ended with the bursting of asset bubbles – equities in 2000 and housing in 2007. The problem with relying on asset inflation to power growth is that the growth they power is weak and unsustainable. The most recent recovery, like its predecessor, was weak and ended with the bursting of an asset bubble...


*****


Rep. John Mica (R-FL), the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Infrastructure is one to watch.


This was published in The Hill last May: A New Vision for Our Nation’s Transportation System (http://republicans.transportation.house.gov/news/PRArticle.aspx?NewsID=306)


As we strive to find solutions to today’s transportation problems we must be as farsighted as President Eisenhower. The federal government must take a lead role in developing a national strategic transportation plan for the next 50 years that makes the most efficient use of every transportation mode and incorporates the expertise and resources of both the private and public sectors.

On March 14th, the (http://republicans.transportation.house.gov/News/PRArticle.aspx?NewsID=337)Bipartisan High Speed Rail Initiative was introduced in House (http://republicans.transportation.house.gov/News/PRArticle.aspx?NewsID=337). (23 co-sponsors to date...)


The bill, H.R. 5644 (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:hr5644:), seeks to develop high speed rail in the congested corridor between Washington, D.C. and New York City, to be followed by proposals for other high speed corridors around the country.

The bipartisan legislative proposal contains the following provisions:

The Department of Transportation will solicit proposals for development of a high speed rail link along the Northeast Corridor between Washington, D.C. and New York City;
Proposals will include engineering, financing, and development plans for the DC/NYC corridor;
Proposals will require DC to NYC express service of no more than 2 hours;
DOT will convene a Commission of state, local, federal, rail and rail labor stakeholders to evaluate the proposals and report its recommendations to Congress;
Congress will evaluate the Commission’s report and take the necessary action to commence work on the corridor;
The DC/NYC link will serve as a pilot for similar projects across the United States, and the DOT Secretary may request proposals for other corridors after selection of the Northeast Corridor proposal;
Guarantees labor protections; and
Requires a study to examine how to achieve maximum economic utilization of the Northeast Corridor.

Rajiv
03-24-08, 09:18 PM
see also my thread - Another Way Around the Credit Crisis (http://www.itulip.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3630)



Thinking Outside the Box: The Minnesota Transportation Act

Many people are getting tired of waiting for the Federal Reserve and the federal government to act, and one of them is a Minnesota resident named Byron Dale. Dale has drafted a bill called "the Minnesota Transportation Act" (MTA), which is scheduled for hearing before the Minnesota Senate Transportation Committee on March 25, 2008. If adopted, the bill could represent a major innovation in the way state and local projects are funded. It would mandate Minnesota's Transportation Department and State-chartered banks to enter into an agreement providing that the banks would advance funds for legislatively-approved transportation projects in the same way that banks make commercial loans – simply by "monetizing" the projects themselves. Banks routinely monetize the promissory notes of borrowers just by making book entries to a checking account and saying "you have a new deposit with us."

bill
03-18-09, 10:40 PM
Green trading policies are currently a heavy debated subject.
From the CFR site article a few good links.
http://www.cfr.org/publication/15715/climate_policy_and_trade.html?breadcrumb=%2F
Policy Clash Looms between Trade and Climate

March 12, 2008
<TABLE class=author-table cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 border=0><TBODY><TR><TH>Author: </TH><TD class=authors>Toni Johnson (http://www.cfr.org/bios/13408/toni_johnson.html)

</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>


http://www.cfr.org/content/publications/images/green_exports_6.jpg Steel imports, from countries such as China, could face green tariffs under climate change proposals being considered by the U.S. Congress. (AP/Imaginechina)

Canada’s ambassador sent a letter (PDF) (http://media.ft.com/cms/67ed53dc-edfe-11dc-a5c1-0000779fd2ac.pdf) to U.S. officials in February warning that an overly broad interpretation of the Energy Independence and Security Act (http://www.cfr.org/publication/15112/), signed into law in December 2007, could actually prohibit the United States government from importing oil. The law prohibits the import of alternative fuels with higher greenhouse-gas emissions than conventional petroleum sources. Canada points out this might be read to include oil from tar sands, which makes up the bulk of the oil Canada sends to the United States. Canada is the largest single supplier of oil to the United States, thanks in part to the North American Free Trade Agreement (http://www.cfr.org/publication/8574/) (NAFTA).
The concerns raised by the Canadian embassy highlight a looming clash between climate change policy and U.S. commitments to free trade. After years in which the United States declined to take part in the multilateral approach to climate policy, (http://www.cfr.org/publication/15057/) symbolized by the Kyoto Protocol (http://www.cfr.org/publication/8864/), U.S. lawmakers appear ready to push through climate change legislation. But lawmakers worry about U.S. competitiveness. They want to discourage industries from relocating abroad to avoid climate regulation. They also want to ensure foreign producers don’t get a “free ride” on greenhouse-gas regulations when U.S. industries are forced to comply. Under pending proposals (PDF) (http://www.rff.org/rff/News/Releases/2007Releases/loader.cfm?url=/commonspot/security/getfile.cfm&PageID=29353), U.S. lawmakers are weighing several options that would penalize foreign trading partners if they do not take steps to reduce emissions during the production of commodities for the U.S. market. But the import taxes, labeling specifications, and requirements to purchase emissions permits being proposed are in conflict with the notion of free trade, say some experts. The European Union, in particular, is considering such measures (EurActiv) (http://www.euractiv.com/en/climate-change/eu-us-eye-wto-free-trade-pact-climate-friendly-goods/article-168828), many of them directed at producers in the United States.
U.S. lawmakers and environmental advocates believe these measures would fall within World Trade Organization (http://www.cfr.org/publication/9386/) (WTO) rules covering environmental standards. But some experts disagree. Although the WTO allows discriminatory actions by members for environmental concerns, such measures must be proved not to be arbitrary, overly onerous, or merely using the environment as a means to erect covert trade barriers. International trade lawyer Bernd G. Janzen says that to date, the WTO’s rulings on these issues offer little in the way of guidelines (http://www.metrocorpcounsel.com/current.php?artType=view&artMonth=March&artYear=2008&EntryNo=8014) for U.S. or other policymakers. A report from the National Foreign Trade Council, a U.S.-based trade advocacy group, points to a 1994 WTO ruling (PDF) (http://www.nftc.org/default/trade/WTO/Climate%20Change%20Paper.pdf) that prevented the United States from imposing an auto import tax on based on fuel efficiency standards.
Gary Clyde Hufbauer, an economist at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, told U.S. lawmakers earlier this month that almost all environmentally based trade restrictions (PDF) (http://energycommerce.house.gov/cmte_mtgs/110-eaq-hrg.030508.Hufbauer-testimony.pdf) stand a good chance of a WTO challenge. He says such restrictions could spark retaliation on U.S. exports. Sebastian Mallaby, director of CFR’s Center for Geoeconomic Studies, says the potential destabilizing force (http://www.cfr.org/publication/15684/) of green tariffs on existing international trade deals should be assessed before finishing a new round of global trade talks. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a powerful proponent of free trade, suggests a better climate policy solution would be liberalizing the trade of clean energy technologies (PDF) (http://energycommerce.house.gov/cmte_mtgs/110-eaq-hrg.030508.Wenk-testimony.pdf). The Bush administration and European Union are both pushing for an end to clean-technology tariffs (http://www.state.gov/g/oes/rls/rm/2007/96703.htm) currently imposed by other countries. The administration has also warned against imposing the type of tariffs being proposed in Congress and the European Union.
A number of policy groups, including the Center for American Progress, suggest climate trade restrictions should be policy “tools of last resort (http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2008/03/climate_trade.html).” Instead they suggest engaging countries in multilateral or bilateral climate agreements. A 2008 World Bank report notes that many climate measures focus on production methods and processes (PDF) (http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2007/11/15/000310607_20071115153905/Rendered/PDF/41453optmzd0PA101OFFICIAL0USE0ONLY1.pdf), which it suggests could be crucial to finding a regime that can pass WTO muster. The WTO recently upheld a U.S. ban on imported shrimp trawled without protective measures for sea turtles. In that ruling, the WTO noted that the disputants were all signatories of the same endangered species treaty. Such reasoning, the report says, could be applied to climate and trade policy clashes between nations.

A carbon intensity tax could be placed on oil using products.




Carbon Tariffs?,,,,
What’s next a carbon currency?
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123733297926563315.html?mod=googlenews_wsj


<LI class="dateStamp first"><SMALL>MARCH 18, 2009</SMALL> <!-- ID: SB123733297926563315 --><!-- TYPE: Politics and Policy --><!-- DISPLAY-NAME: Politics and Policy --><!-- PUBLICATION: The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition --><!-- DATE: 2009-03-18 00:01 --><!-- COPYRIGHT: Dow Jones & Company, Inc. --><!-- ORIGINAL-ID: --><!-- article start --><!--CODE=INDUSTRY SYMBOL=DENCODE=SUBJECT SYMBOL=OUSBCODE=SUBJECT SYMBOL=ONEWCODE=STATISTIC SYMBOL=FREECODE=SUBJECT SYMBOL=OPOL-->Energy Chief Says U.S. Is Open to Carbon Tariff





By IAN TALLEY (http://online.wsj.com/search/search_center.html?KEYWORDS=IAN+TALLEY&ARTICLESEARCHQUERY_PARSER=bylineAND) and TOM BARKLEY (http://online.wsj.com/search/search_center.html?KEYWORDS=TOM+BARKLEY&ARTICLESEARCHQUERY_PARSER=bylineAND)

WASHINGTON -- Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Tuesday advocated adjusting trade duties as a "weapon" to protect U.S. manufacturing, just a day after one of China's top climate envoys warned of a trade war if developed countries impose tariffs on carbon-intensive imports.
http://s.wsj.net/public/resources/images/HC-GN275_Chu_BV_20090114072505.gif Steven Chu



Mr. Chu, speaking before a House science panel, said establishing a carbon tariff would help "level the playing field" if other countries haven't imposed greenhouse-gas-reduction mandates similar to the one President Barack Obama plans to implement over the next couple of years. It is the first time the Obama administration has made public its view on the issue.
"If other countries don't impose a cost on carbon, then we will be at a disadvantage...[and] we would look at considering perhaps duties that would offset that cost," Mr. Chu said.
Li Gao, a senior Chinese negotiator from the National Development and Reform Commission, told Dow Jones Newswires Monday that a carbon tariff would be a "disaster," would prompt a trade war and wouldn't be legal under World Trade Organization agreements
"It does not abide by the rule of [the] WTO and, secondly, it's not fair," Mr. Gao said, adding that his delegation would relate China's concerns to U.S. officials.
Mr. Chu's comments came amid other signs of concern among U.S. trading partners about protectionist rhetoric and legislation from Washington. On Monday, Mexico announced it would put tariffs on $2.4 billion of U.S. goods in retaliation for a measure to limit the access of Mexican truckers to U.S. roads. "Buy American" provisions tied to the recent stimulus package have prompted concerns from some U.S. trading partners, and trade issues are expected to be prominent on the agenda at meetings next month among leaders of the Group of 20 leading nations.
European Union Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton said in an interview in Washington Tuesday that she hopes the Obama administration will give strong backing to relaunching talks on the WTO's stalled Doha round at the G-20 meeting. Ms. Ashton said U.S. support for completing a new global trade deal would boost confidence in world markets.
The carbon tax issue is important to energy-intensive U.S. industries -- including paper, cement, fertilizer, steel and glass manufacturers -- that worry that costs imposed by climate-change laws will put them at a disadvantage to rivals in nations that aren't bound by similar requirements.
European Union officials are considering a similar tariff, prompting some developing nations to caution that trade restrictions run the risk of retaliatory action.
China is seeking to require importers of its carbon-intensive goods to bear the emission costs, concerned that targets such as those proposed by the U.S. would cripple the nation's growth as an industrializing nation.
The U.S. does agree with China that an international agreement should be based on a principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" that allows a less-stringent and longer-term flexibility for developed countries. Obama administration officials also agree that developed countries need to help to finance the technology transfer for low carbon energy and efficiency measures.
Write to Ian Talley at ian.talley@dowjones.com (ian.talley@dowjones.com) and Tom Barkley at