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Government action23-11-2013 18:54
The cash flows of the energy companies are so high that it would be difficult politically to get legislation that would have the governments spend enough money for an effective program of building new alternative energy facilities. Tiny government token programs are far from adequate.

However, being difficult politically doesn't mean that it would be politically impossible if people were to try hard enough. It might be noted that it was once thought that it would be impossible to obtain the right to vote for women because legislatures were all male. However, women worked hard and succeeded.

Using tax dollars to build enough alternative energy facilities would work, but it would run into additional difficulty because it is in style now for voters to reject all tax increases.

However, there is an alternative available which would not involve voters paying higher taxes, so while still difficult, that would be easier to accomplish.

The US, the EU, and any other nations which wished to join in, could make building new alternative energy facilities a necessary requirement for corporations, domestic and foreign, to have permission to do any business in the US and/or EU and/or other nations, including having any products or services they produce sold by another business.

In order to be eligible to do business, corporations would have to spend 5% (or more if that turned out not to be enough) of their gross receipts to build alternative energy facilities. That would not be a tax because the corporations would own the facilities they built and earn money from the sales of energy the facilities produced. Rather it would be a forced investment, in the general category of what businesses are required to do in wartime, but transferred to a peace time crisis situation.

It would not harm the competitiveness of any corporation because all corporations would be spending the same amount of money as a percentage of gross receipts. Therefore, corporations which are profitable would remain profitable. In addition to earning money back from energy sales, the manufacturing of the additional alternative energy facilities would increase jobs, therefore producing increased tax revenues for governments and increased sales for corporations.

I can't predict exactly how many businesses would end up in the program, but with a 60 trillion dollar Gross World Product, I think it would be safe to conservatively estimate that about 40 trillion dollars per year in gross receipts would come under this requirement. That would produce about 2 trillion dollars per year in alternative energy equipment, at the 5% rate, which would be much more than is being spent to build alternative energy facilities now.

26-11-2013 21:10
I agree with your premise for raising the necessary money required to fund a truely effective alternative energy program of R&D. In fact we already have examples where consumers pay an up front 'tax' for the purchase of beverage containers and tires,...the proceeds go the operation of a regulated process to recycle these goods etc...basically a revenue neutral arrangement. Nobody 'gets hurt' and it's all for a good cause and the like

Any requirement imposed by the government to 'Tax' the activities of the private sector is a nonstarter...the problem is that businesse's have no way to account for the value add of this particular approach. The prospects of a downstream return on the tax is not a given. In fact is arbitrary at best. In other words any attempt to guarantee a return is subject to uncontrolable variables in the economy, including market conditions, government policy, wars, name it.

Business seeks out certainity and predictability,...any artificial intervention that cannot be accounted for in a business transaction is 'bad'

Although in theory, what you propose makes sense, in practical terms is unachievable from a private sector point of view, therefore there is no motivation for elected representatives who are beholding to the vested interests of business to argue for such a plan in terms of legislation.

Unless there is jeopardy, there is no action...

Governments are not in a postion politcally, to impose jeopardy on business, at least not at this time.
30-05-2014 21:17
Governments do not provide our energy, well, this one doesn't. The only thing a government can do is tax fossil fuels out of use. Fossil fuels are so much cheaper than current alternatives (alternatives that provide power 100% of the time!!) that the new tax, and thus our energy would be so expensive it would literally crush anything related to manufacturing and become by far our #1 home bill. And it would not change the climate at all unless the developing nations also crushed their manufacturing and development projects that lifted people out of poverty.

While we have our checkbook out to solve BIG problems, why consider other problems much easier to solve with much less expense.
01-06-2014 04:36
What alternative energy? solar and windmills are useless, expensive, unreliable, take up huge areas of land and will never ever supply enough energy for our increasing populations.
Nuclear is the only way, but suffers from a bad image, back from ban the bomb days, there is no new technology being developed, safe environmentally friendly nuclear is possible, back in the late 60's a liquid flouride thorium reactor was developed, it was not pressurized, it would not melt if cooling was stopped, it could be powered by thorium (plentiful in supply) and also burn nuclear waste products, it was ignored and not developed why? because it did'nt produce plutonium and could not increase stockpiles of nuclear weapons.

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