New Markets - Green Economy
"...George Bush's new administration, and its supporters controlling Congress, are setting out to dismantle three decades of US environmental protection.
In little over a month since his re-election, they have announced that they will comprehensively rewrite three of the country's most important environmental laws, open up vast new areas for oil and gas drilling, and reshape the official Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
...The administration's first priority is the controversial plan to open up the Arctic Wildlife Refuge for oil drilling. Two years ago the Senate defeated plans to exploit the refuge - home to caribou, polar bears , musk oxen and millions of migratory birds - by 52 votes to 48.
...It plans to follow with an energy bill - also defeated in the last Congress - which would investigate vast new tracts for exploitation for oil and gas. It will also encourage the building of nuclear power stations, halted since the 1979 Three Mile Island accident.
...Far more radical measures are also under way. Joe Barton, the Texas Republican chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, who is to help push through the energy bill, has also announced a comprehensive review of the Clean Air Act, one of the world's most successful environmental laws.
Environmentalists predict the emasculation of the Act, which has cut air pollution across the country by more than half over the last 30 years. Not to be outdone, the Republican chairman of the House Resources Committee, Richard Pombo, has announced a review of the Endangered Species Act, for the protection of wildlife. The law has been the main obstacle to the felling of much of the US's remaining endangered rain forest. And in a third assault, Congressional leaders have also announced an attack on the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires details of the environmental effects of major developments before they proceed."
The problem with all this legislation is simple: consumers and producers alike are beginning to value green products more highly than non-green products. So legislation like this only opens up absolutely enormous market spaces for entrepreneurs to essentially privatize the old laws, and reap huge rewards in doing so. Stay tuned to this space.