Electric utility executives join Inglis backing free enterprise solutions on energy, climate

EVANSTON, Ill. (January 30, 2013)– Exelon Corporation’s former Chairman/CEO John Rowe and current Senior Vice President Joseph Dominguez echoed the Energy and Enterprise Initiative’s call free-enterprise energy policy last night at the Kellogg School of Management’s “Wholesale Electricity Markets” workshop.

In his keynote address, Rowe expressed strong support for pricing greenhouse-gas pollution.  He also delivered an indictment of perverse energy subsidies and “clumsy” government mandates.

“Energy subsidies and Renewable Portfolio Standards cost more and do less than pricing carbon,” Rowe said.

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Inglis speaking to the Kellogg School’s Energy Club January 30, 2013 at Northwestern University.

 

Rowe added that markets are much better arbiters of technology choice than politicians and “we can shape markets but we should not meddle.”

“But our current set of environmental laws force more environmental externalities into the market,” Rowe said. “And our current markets do not incorporate whatever costs should be associated with greenhouse gas emissions.

“Markets when properly framed are incredibly powerful tools for getting socially desirable results at an efficient cost.”

Dominguez also warned of the perverse effects of subsidies and mandates: “We need to be mindful that the web of government subsidies favoring certain technologies may have the unintended effect of forcing the premature retirement or deferral of investments in other clean technology like nuclear,” he said. “Command and control regulations are almost always less efficient and less effective than market-driven solutions.”

“A revenue-neutral carbon tax, coupled with the elimination of energy subsidies, is the best approach available for supporting economic growth and cost-effective pollution reduction,” Dominguez said. “We can create tremendous opportunities for innovation and growth by pricing carbon without growing government.”

Rowe, Dominguez and Inglis all posited, respectively, that cap-and-trade is “dead.”

“A revenue-neutral carbon tax would lower income taxes and tax pollution,” Inglis said.  “It’s a limited-government solution to a deeply distorted energy market and it would mean improved energy security, cleaner air, and bigger paychecks.”

Through educational events and outreach across the country, E&EI is actively promoting the idea of shifting taxes off of income and capital and on to carbon dioxide.

“This forum is a phenomenal opportunity to hear different views on tackling a problem we all face,” Dominguez said.  “Kellogg’s brilliant students and rich mix of academic and industrial leaders make it the perfect host for this important conversation.”

About the Energy and Enterprise Initiative
The Energy and Enterprise Initiative is a nationwide public engagement campaign promoting free-enterprise solutions to energy and climate challenges. Based at George Mason University, E&EI works to build support for energy policies that are true to conservative principles of limited government, accountability, reasonable risk-avoidance, and free enterprise.   Former South Carolina Republican Congressman Bob Inglis (1993-98, 2005-10) serves as executive director of E&EI. For more information, visit www.energyandenterprise.com.

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