By Michael Greenstone
The director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago made the following statement in reaction to the President’s energy and climate comments in the State of the Union address:
“President Obama’s former Chief of Staff and Chicago’s current Mayor Rahm Emanuel once said, ‘You never let a serious crisis go to waste…it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.’ The same is true of good luck, and the recent remarkable reductions in natural gas and oil prices are good luck that we should not waste.
“In his State of the Union, President Obama issued another strong call to confront climate change, and emphasized the efforts his administration has taken to act on this front. While his efforts have transformed U.S. climate policy, there is a golden opportunity staring us in the face. The energy price declines present a rare chance to move away from regulatory approaches and set a price on carbon. This move would not only combat climate change and very likely spur further action to reduce greenhouse gases by other countries, but it would also provide the revenues necessary to address several other national priorities, including increasing access to education, infrastructure improvements, shoring up our entitlement programs, and reducing taxes, which the President mentioned in his address.”
– Michael Greenstone, Milton Friedman Professor in Economics, The University of Chicago; Director, Energy Policy Institute at Chicago (EPIC)