Incentives are coming under increasing scrutiny as the fiscal crisis just starts to hit state and local governments. The proessure will continue to build on these incentive programs. Many are vulnerable, because they lack the transparency and accountability needed to measure their effectiveness. Here are reports from North Carolina and Wisconsin that came out recently.
The Council on Foreign Relations has released a report on federal infrastructure policy. The picture is not pretty. In 2001 the U.S. ranked 24th in infrastructure quality worldwide. That's down from #5 in 2002.
Can the federal government provide stable policies to promote renewable energy? That's an open question. The editorial board of the Washington Post recently explored the issue of wind power development.
Policy stability is critical for the development of new energy resources. In the 1920's the Federal government stepped forward with a highly preferential oil depletion allowance. Later, as global petroleum supplies started coming on to the market, the government stepped in again with an oil import quota in 1959.
In nuclear power, the Federal government in the 1950's stepped in with the Price Anderson Act. That legislation limited the liability for operators of domestic nuclear plants.
Exploring how to provide stability is part of a report, "Beyond Boom and Bust: Putting Clean Tech on a Path to Subsidy Independence".
Just returned from trying to revers the seizure of our water factory by the Xi'an governement. I hopeful that -- after last week's meeting -- the Xi'an government will intervene to reverse the actions of some corrupt officials. The chief o staff of the Xi'an Mayor has indicated that we will learn something Friday.