US should take lead in reducing carbon emissions

The United States should be a model for the world in developing power generation technologies that slash greenhouse gas emissions, said John G. Rice, vice chairman of General Electric.
“Why should this be the time when we wait for China and India?,” said Rice, speaking Thursday at CERA Week, an industry conference in Houston.
Though the two Asian economies are growing faster than ours, the U.S. has a unique opportunity to define itself with clean technologies that anticipate the world’s growing energy needs, while lessining the impact of the energy industry, Rice said.
But he said policy leaders and the public must be realistic about prospects for renewable technolgies such as wind and solar. While they will be a bigger part of the overall energy picture in coming years, their contribution will still be small.
To make meaningful reductions in carbon emissions now, the U.S. must take advantage of advances with traditional resources such as coal and nuclear power.
“The one fallacy is that people tend to believe there’s one answer to all of this,” Rice said. The reality is that it will take a broad portfolio of technologies and resources to make a difference, he said.
GE is one of several large U.S. companies that in January signed a declaration committing themselves to reducing carbon emissions in coming years. Rice was matter of fact in his explantion for joining the group.
“We became convinced there was a problem,” he said, “and believed there was a role for us to play.”