The Answer to the Billion Dollar Question

Tony KreindlerThere’s a lot of buzz right now about the potential for "green" economic stimulus – policies and investments that grow the economy, create jobs, and protect the planet at the same time.


  • Treehugger reports that energy efficiency investment in California has led to 1.5 million new jobs and $56 billion in savings between 1972 and 2006.
  • An editorial in the Seattle Times explains how heavy investment in green infrastructure can put people back to work as well as solve the climate crisis.
  • A post on Gristmill cites Paul Krugman’s argument that federal spending is the only way out of our economic woes, and suggests that this spending should include a Green Jobs program.

Investing in projects to repair and update our aging infrastructure would pay off in new jobs and a more efficient America. But where will the money come from? Stuck between pay-as-you-go rules and no new middle-class taxes, Congress doesn’t have a lot of options. One could be the auction of pollution allowances under a national greenhouse gas emissions cap. Estimates are that an auction could generate somewhere in the neighborhood of $150 billion per year.

As EDF President Fred Krupp explained yesterday on the National Journal blog,

…an emissions cap that includes an auction of pollution credits – a feature of many of the bills on Capitol Hill – could generate a substantial new source of revenue for easing the burden on taxpayers and putting more investment into transportation and electric infrastructure improvement as well as other important economic priorities.

This post is by Tony Kreindler, media director for the National Climate Campaign at Environmental Defense Fund.

This entry was posted in Economics. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. steveshoap
    Posted October 30, 2008 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Many Americans want low cost, fuel efficient cars.
    Kei cars are a special class of cars in Japan. They
    are limited to an engine size of 660cc and have
    vehicle size, but not weight, restrictions. They are
    made by many different Japanese car companies and
    they are mature designs that are reliable, and get up
    to 60 mpg. They can cost less than $10,000.
    If these cars were converted to hybrids, they might
    get 100 mpg.

    However, they can’t be driven in the U.S. because
    they can’t meet U.S. crash test requirements.

    I believe that adding my crumple box invention to a
    Kei car will allow it to pass U.S. safety
    requirements. Then it could be driven in the U.S.

    On my website I have calculations that show that my
    invention can reduce the g forces from side impacts
    from the current 85 g standard to only 20 g’s.

    The invention can do better for rear impacts because
    the rear bumper can stick out farther than a side
    bumper. The length of a crumple zone is a critical
    factor in reducing g forces.

    Some American auto companies have ties to Kei car
    manufacture. They could make these cars.

    Please help me promote this idea.

    See my website

  2. mikes
    Posted November 1, 2008 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Yup, alternative energy is providing great economic stimulus:,0,152878.story

  3. Posted November 10, 2008 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Ethanol is problematic and not what we had in mind. See Miriam Horn’s response to a question about ethanol in the comment area of this post:

  4. Posted January 8, 2010 at 3:01 am | Permalink

    Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me.