Asia’s clean energy initiatives dwarf U.S. effort

Conventional media wisdom has it that the United States leads the world when it comes to green technology and environmental protections, and that the leaders of Asia’s emerging economies are spoiling our efforts by refusing to acquiesce to our greenhouse gas restrictions.

In fact just the opposite is true. According to this article in the San Francisco Chronicle, over the next ten years China plans to spend $440-billion to $660-billion in clean energy industries and South Korea has pledged 2 percent of its GDP to a “Green New Deal.” By contrast the United States has dedicated a mere $1.2 billion to energy research and development and even the bloated Waxman-Markey climate change/energy bill (which likely won’t pass muster anyway) dribbles out a weak $10 billion for the clean energy sector. Overall, the U.S. will spend less than 0.1 percent of GDP on developing energy efficiency.

When countries like China and South Korea dedicate money to energy R&D, almost all that money goes to energy R&D. By the time our politicians and lobby groups have finished ginning up an energy bill only $1 out of every $10 goes to energy R&D. The remaining $9 goes to pay off corporations that stand to gain from the bill and special interests that will help those same politicians get reelected.