Note to anthropogenic climate change skeptics (ACCS): It's over, and you lost. The reason I'm sure? Here come the lawyers.
Lawyers are becoming some of the best-paid environmentalists.The focus of these well-dressed consultants is the Warner-Leibermann Bill.
Twenty of the 100 highest-grossing U.S. law firms have started practices advising companies on climate change, according to a Bloomberg survey of the firms' Web sites. The attorneys help clients finance clean-energy projects and lobby Congress, typically billing $500 to $700 an hour.
Firms including Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Heller Ehrman and Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton joined the global warming cause as real-estate and structured-finance attorneys lost jobs to the worst U.S. housing slump in 27 years. The move into climate-change law is gaining traction as Congress considers a mandatory carbon market to curb greenhouse gas emissions. [More]
The bill is designed to cap U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from the electric utility, transportation, and manufacturing industries at 2005 levels by 2012. These sectors -- which are responsible for close to 80% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions -- would then need to reduce emissions 15% below 2005 levels by 2020 and by 70% by 2050.This bill has been way too far under the radar for agriculture, IMHO. It may work out that advantages we might have finagled through the legislation will be foregone simply because we didn't do the arithmetic comparing emissions credits and DCPs.
Meeting these targets would effectively lower the total emissions cap each year by 96 million tons, a 1.8% annual reduction of the 2012 cap, according to a report from the law firm Van Ness Feldman.
If the cap-and-trade system becomes a viable market (a big if!) look for more excitement about wind and solar power systems, as they would reap million of dollars from selling emissions offsets.
This looks like very forward thinking by the boys in green at John Deere.