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think that precludes the need for rational, sensible limits, which I think can also help you move the technology on the development side and also on the deployment side. This is not to say you need a mandatory system that will bankrupt the economy or that will move too soon, too much, but I think there is a real place for limits which, if done rationally over time and in a way that the market can sort out, have to be a part of the system.
Senator BENNETT. Let me give you an analogy then. You used two words, neither one of which can be challenged, but that create great mischief up here: Rational and sensible. I am not sure we are ever complying with both of those in legislation that we pass.
Ms. CLAUSSEN. Well, I have great faith in the Senate.
Senator BENNETT. But in the automobile industry, CAFE standards have no doubt produced technological breakthroughs. I was at the Department of Transportation when the catalytic converter was introduced, and that was a technological breakthrough. But it was driven in part by CAFE standards. One of the interesting side effects of CAFE standards has been the creation of the automobile industry in Japan, because the Americans, for whatever reason, did not seem to be able to produce reliable small cars, and so more and more people started importing cars from Japan, where they had the technology to produce these kinds of cars. That is a separate debate.
In the Samuelson column, he talks about how Europe has achieved what they have achieved with respect to emissions. He says there are only three countries in Europe that have reduced their emissions: Germany, Britain, and Luxembourg. I do not think we need to worry about Luxembourg. Britain, because of plentiful North Sea gas, they have shifted from coal. But in Germany, it is a one-time experience, as they have shut down the technologicallyimpaired plants of East Germany that came in with unification, and once that is done, they are not going to get another boost, unless there are technological breakthroughs that can say, when the time comes to retrofit a plant, we are going to retrofit it with one that is more efficient and cleaner. Along the lines, to stretch the analogy, of the CAFE standards, we are going to get rid of the Cadillac and buy a Toyota, and maybe we have to buy two Toyotas to carry everybody around, but maybe not, because you can really only get six people in a Cadillac, and if everybody breathes at the same time, you can get five in a Toyota.
So I am just reacting here, but the reason I am doing this is because I find in the environmental community some segments that are anti-technology. They hate the idea of technology. Now, the best example of that, and this is obviously pathological, was the Unabomber, who did everything he could to attack technology as the source of all of our problems, when, in fact, technology is the solution to our problems, and the people who are heavy in the rhetoric, anti-technology, need to realize that we all need to get on board in the same thing if we are going to solve this kind of problem.
Now let me give you an example, and maybe Mr. Heydlauff, you could comment on this. I talked to the electrical generators in Utah-obvious parochial interest. They tell me they are very bull
very bullish on wind, and they have been able to design the windmills in such a way that they are not particularly dangerous to birds anymore. But there is one problem with wind, and that is that the wind stops, and you cannot stockpile energy the way you can stockpile Toyotas, and when the wind stops, you have got to have some alternative.
The obvious alternative is hydro, where you have a body of water stored, and when the wind stops, you allow that water to go through the turbine and generate electricity until the wind starts again, and then, in those hours of the night when nobody is using the wind energy and you have excess capacity, you pump the water back up. To me, this is an obvious, wonderful solution to changing, and many in the environmental community say we are opposed to hydro in any way, shape or form.
This is a technological solution that can help us, that is being attacked for ideological political reasons. Does anybody have a comment on technology? You have taken me on, and I accept your
Mr. LASH. Can we disavow the Unabomber first?
Senator BENNETT. Yes, let's all disavow the Unabomber.
Chairman LIEBERMAN. We environmentalists do not want Mr. Kaczynski to be our representative here.
Mr. HEYDLAUFF. Senator, one of the strengths of the U.S. economy, I think, is the fact that we power it with a wide diversity of energy sources. Coal is approximately 50 percent of the electricity We have got 21 percent, I think, roughly is the nuclear capacity. Natural gas is approximately 15 percent; hydro is 10 percent; a little bit of oil and the balance is going to be these non-renewable resources you talked about, which is less than 2 percent. I think we need them all and I think we need to develop them all, and we need to develop them in a way that is both economically rational, but also protective of the environment, more so than we ever have in the past.
We are a diversified energy company. I talked about the fact that we burn, I think as Jonathan said, nearly 80 million tons of coal a year, but that is only 66 percent of our generation mix; 24 percent is natural gas. We do have nuclear generation, hydro, and we are about to commission a 150 megawatt wind plant, which we are very proud of. It is in Texas, and we think there is a lot of wind potential in Texas. You are absolutely right about the intermittent nature of wind generation, and it is going to be a problem that will keep a lot of these intermittent renewable energy resources, like solar and wind, at the periphery of the electricity supply business until such time as we have a dramatic breakthrough in energy storage technology, and that has been elusive, as you know.
As a matter of fact, we would solve the urban smog problem in Senator Lieberman's State if we could just come up with an efficient energy storage system, so that people could drive around in the cars and electric vehicles that do not emit anything. But we are still going to have an urban smog problem for as far as we can see, because we have not found that, and the automobile manufacturers actually have cut back on a lot of that research and gone to hybrids instead. So that is a challenge, but it is growing and it will con
Frankly, I think—and we have got experience with this-the renewable energy systems make a lot of sense in developing countries, either in those areas where they have no access to electricity or in areas where their electricity comes from diesel generation. We, for example, have put in solar generation, photovoltaic systems, in Bolivia, and in one case it was to provide electricity for the first time to a community, and in the other case it is displacing diesel generation. We are looking at that. We are looking at, actually, renewable hybrids similar to what you talked about, smallscale hydro systems, combined with solar and wind generation.
So there are a lot of solutions, I think, to the energy challenges of the world, and certainly the country, that we need to continue to exploit. Your suggestions are correct and you are absolutely right, there are relatively entrenched opponents to virtually any form of electric generation. We certainly have it with coal. You see it with nuclear. You have it with hydro and we are well-aware of that. It is very difficult today to site and build a new hydro plant. As a matter of fact, I think we have pretty much developed all the economically feasible areas anyway. It is just hard to get them relicensed today.
Senator BENNETT. They are trying to tear them down in my State.
Mr. HEYDLAUFF. And they are trying to tear them down, I know, out West. Even the most efficient, clean natural gas generation, you are having a hard time siting and building in the Midwest, some States where you would not expect it, like in Indiana, where they have had enormous difficulty trying to site new natural gas power plants. We have the old NIMBY (not in my backyard) syndrome prevalent in ways that we have never had to deal with when we built the existing infrastructure. But that infrastructure needs to be replaced. It is getting old and we have got to replace it.
So we have to come up with a rational energy strategy, and I guess that is for another committee as well.
Senator BENNETT. Thank you. Let the record show that I am the only member of the Senate who drives a Honda Insight, get 55 miles to the gallon, and I bought it because I was in love with the technology.
Senator THOMPSON. How do you get in it, is the question?
Chairman LIEBERMAN. I have actually seen you get in and out of it, and it is an impressive sight, and quite comfortable. [Laughter.]
I would say to my friend from Utah-I thank him for his questions-I think he is right. There is a consensus here about the need for technology and bold new energy technologies to deal with the problem of climate change and air pollution and the rest. I think there is also an agreement, an important one, that, for various reasons, the private sector is not going to do it itself. So this is one where the government has, as Senator Thompson said, some credibility and needs to do it.
But the second part of this, about the private sector, and this is where we separate for the moment, anyway, is that I think, as Ms. Claussen does, that we need caps, and the best reason is actually
standards, because what we do here does drive technology. In other words, if we create standards, the private sector will figure out ways often to meet them. As Ms. Claussen said, we have got to calibrate this as best we can, because we do not want to create economic havoc, certainly, in the short run.
The other reason that I favor the binding targets and timetables is that we had this experience in the 1990's after the Rio framework, which set targets and timetables and made them voluntary, and nobody did much of anything around the country and the world, and the problem got worse. So I think that is what actually led to Kyoto. One may disagree with the specifics of the Kyoto Protocol. I was actually in Kyoto, and it was a remarkable experience, watching all those countries with differing points of few, differing domestic political constituencies and energy resources, trying to work something out.
So it is far from perfect and it is always subject to alteration, but I think that is a point at which we differ. The good thing about the Byrd-Stevens is it does not require us to reach consensus on those questions. It creates these mechanisms, these offices in the Federal Government, that will stimulate and finance more research and development, that will force us to come back at this every year and see how we are doing and create a strategy that reaches toward stabilization.
I come to the end of the hearing, thanking all the witnesses and my colleagues, feeling that though there are still disagreements about tactics here, that this bill really does provide us with some common ground to go forward, and in doing that, I do think it is a breakthrough.
Senator Thompson, if you want to add anything
Senator THOMPSON. Well said, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman LIEBERMAN. Thank you, all. The hearing is adjourned. [Whereupon, the 12:26 p.m., the Committee was adjourned.]
I appreciate the opportunity to provide information relevant to your considerations of a strategy to address climate change. Specifically, I would like to clarify and expand upon a paper that I co-authored with four other scientists on climate change in the 21" century, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (1). In that paper, we define an "alternative scenario" for the forcing agents that cause climate change. The alternative scenario gives equal emphasis to reducing air pollution and to a continued slow downtrend in CO2 emissions. This scenario produces only a moderate climate change in the next 50 years. We suggest that the climate forcings in this scenario can be achieved via pragmatic actions that make good sense for a variety of reasons. Collateral benefits include improvements in human health, agricultural productivity, and greater energy self-sufficiency. Our alternative scenario differs markedly from the "business as usual" scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which have received the greatest attention among the plethora of IPCC scenarios. However, I emphasize that our paper is not a criticism of IPCC. The IPCC reports (2), produced by hundreds of outstanding scientists, provide an invaluable assessment of the status of scientific understanding of climate change.
Although our research has relevance to public issues, including your present consideration of strategies for long-term stabilization of climate forcings, it is not our job to suggest policies. Our objective is to provide scientific information that the public and their representatives can use to help choose wise policies. Thus our aim is to provide relevant information on the forcing agents that drive climate change that is as quantitative and as clear as the data permit.
2. Introduction: Basic Concepts.
The Earth's climate fluctuates from year to year and century to century, just as the weather fluctuates from day to day. It is a chaotic system, so changes occur without any forcing, but the chaotic changes are limited in magnitude. The climate also responds to forcings. If the sun brightens, a natural forcing, the Earth becomes warmer. If a large volcano spews aerosols into the stratosphere, these small particles reflect sunlight away and the Earth tends to cool. There are also human-made forcings.