Friday, March 31, 2006

Global Warming and Energy Efficiency

Recently a report was released ranking world utility corporations based upon their ability to control, oversight, manage, disclose, and account for global warming and greenhouse emissions. San Diego based utility company Sempra was ranked second to last in the report, and BP was ranked as the first. Sempra believes the rankings from the commission were subjective.

The commission believed that because Sempra did not have an executive board to manage or address the environmental and economic issues of global warning, they did not attain the goal of being environmentally conscientious. Sempra responded with examples of their most recent improvements to the environment such as: the purchase of renewable energy sources that would assist in bringing more power to California and other homes; building state of the art natural gas fired plants; and building a liquified natural gas receiving terminal. Sempra believes these examples resemble those used to rank other such companies regarding global warming and greenhouse effects. The commission may be taking too narrow of a view of the costs some companies are taking to be environmentally friendly. Rather, by taking a more global view of the changes and improvements that are being accomplished and the effects on the earth, more companies may be seen in a different light.

The economic cost of maintaining and developing new energy resources is becoming increasingly larger. Most experts believe that the global warming and greenhouse effects will continue to worsen over time. Thus causing an economic disaster due to companies attempting to control and improve the environmental problems that may never get better. Additionally, most states are requiring the utility companies to use renewable energy sources to a certain percentage (as the article states, California has a 20% requirement by 2010). Companies are running out of time to find the renewable energy sources. It takes a number of years to locate an energy source, run tests, and determine that the sources would be cost efficient and effective. Do we have enough time, or because of the environmental damage already done, will it matter?

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