FANDOM


1AC Flow - Renewable Portfolio StandardsEdit

Google Docs


Renewable Porfolio Standards- Rev. 2

by Michael Burchfiel and Anthony Severin


We can make a long list of how the oceans and marine life are important to us. Did you know the Oceans cover greater than 70% of the earth’s surface? They contain 99% of the living space on earth! Without this space for organisms to survive, there would be five fewer phyla of animals on the earth. Perhaps this is the most important reason to protect the oceans – to preserve the biodiversity of the Earth. This quote from the University of South Florida epitomizes why we are here to present this case today-- because our current inaction is causing serious harm to something which has huge impacts on our health every day.


Because the ocean is a gigantic part of our planet, and pollution is hurting both us and it, that I stand firmly Resolved: The United States Federal Government should significantly reform its environmental policy.


To clarify the debate round, my partner and I present the following definition in

Part 1: Topicality


Environmental Policy:

The general objectives and principles of action of an organisation with respect to the environment, including compliance with all the regulatory provisions related to the environment and the commitment to continuously improve the environment. Environmental policy constitutes a framework for establishing and reviewing environmental objectives. (European Union)


Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS): Laws that require utilities to a minimum fraction of their energy from renewable sources by a certain date; RPS is a form of environmental target. (ProQuest, Retrieved 15 December 2009, http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/solar/gloss.php )


Further words can be defined upon request. Next, let's look at the facts of the current system, in


Part 2: Inherency

1. U.S. is a big CO2 emitter


Steve Connor (Science editor at the Independent Newspaper, four time winner of British Science Journalism award), 19 April 2006, “Scientists condemn US as emissions of greenhouse gases hit record level”, Published: The Independent, http://web.archive.org/web/20110511045003/http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/scientists-condemn-us-as-emissions-of-greenhouse-gases-hit-record-level-474742.html


The United States emitted more greenhouse gases in 2004 than at any time in history, confirming its status as the world's biggest polluter. Latest figures on the US contribution to global warming show that its carbon emissions have risen sharply despite international concerns over climate change. The figures, which were quietly released on Easter Monday, reveal that net greenhouse gas emissions during 2004 increased by 1.7 per cent on the previous year, equivalent to a rise of 110 million tons of carbon dioxide. Professor David Read, the vice-president of the Royal Society, said that the US and Britain needed to take urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas levels in order to honour their commitments to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. "The figures published this week show not only that the US emissions are not decreasing, but that they are actually increasing on an annual basis," Professor Read said.


2. State RPSs not enough


Dr. Benjamin Sovacool (Ph.D. In Science and Technology and Masters in Science policy from Virginia Tech, Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the University of Singapore, research fellow in the energy governance program at the Center on Asia and Globalization), Christopher Cooper (Policy Director at the Network for New Energy Choices, an energy policy think-tank), June 2007,”The Case for Federal Leadership on a National RPS”, Published: Network for New Energy Choices , http://www.newenergychoices.org/dev/uploads/RPS%20Report_Cooper_Sovacool_FINAL_HILL.pdf


Many states set RPS levels that provide economic rewards for existing renewable generation without inducing any new renewable energy at all. Because the accumulated demand for electricity is expected to accelerate over the next several decades, the penetration of renewable energy technologies in individual states, while noteworthy, is not likely to substantially alter the national fuel mix. For the past fifteen years, nonhydroelectric renewable energy resources have provided around 2 percent of the country’s electricity supply.18 Even with the contribution of the existing state RPS mandates, non-hydroelectric renewable energy resources are not expected to alter substantially the nation’s electricity fuel mix.


But what's the big problem with this? So what if the U.S. is emitting CO2 and the state mandates aren't enough? Let's look at that now in ...




Part 3: Harms


1. Oceans hurt by CO2


Link: CO2 is absorbed by oceans and causes the water to become acidic


Annual Review of Marine Science, Scott Doney (Ph.D. In Chemical Oceanography, Senior Scientist of Marine Chemistry at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), Victoria Fabry (Ph.D. In Biology, Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of California), Richard Feely (Ph.D. In Chemical Oceanography from Texas A&M University), and Joan Kleypas (Ph.D., Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research), 28 August 2008, “Ocean Acidification: The other CO2 Problem”, Published: Annual Review of Marine Science, http://ic.ucsc.edu/~acr/eart254/Doneyetal2009.pdf


The surface ocean currently absorbs approximately one-third of the excess carbon dioxide (CO2) injected into the atmosphere from human fossil fuel use and deforestation, which leads to a reduction in pH and wholesale shifts in seawater carbonate chemistry. The resulting lowering of seawater carbonate ion concentrations and the saturation state for calcium carbonate are well documented in field data, and the rate of change is projected to increase over the 21st century unless predicted future CO2 emissions are curbed dramatically.





Impact: People's food and livelihoods risked


Annual Review of Marine Science, Scott Doney (Ph.D. In Chemical Oceanography, Senior Scientist of Marine Chemistry at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), Victoria Fabry (Ph.D. In Biology, Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of California), Richard Feely (Ph.D. In Chemical Oceanography from Texas A&M University), and Joan Kleypas (Ph.D., Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research), 28 August 2008, “Ocean Acidification: The other CO2 Problem”, Published: Annual Review of Marine Science, http://ic.ucsc.edu/~acr/eart254/Doneyetal2009.pdf


Acidification impacts processes so fundamental to the overall structure and function of marine ecosystems that any significant changes could have far-reaching consequences for the oceans of the future and the millions of people that depend on its food and other resources for their livelihoods.




2. Lost international leadership


Yoichi Funabashi [Ph.D.a contributing editor of Foreign Policy (Washington, D.C.) his Ph.D. From Keio University in 1992. a visiting Fellow at the Institute for International Economics, a Donald Keene Fellow at Columbia University, and a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo Public Policy Institute. He is a member of the Trilateral Commission (Asia), a member and international trustee of the Asia Society, and an Editorial board member of the Washington Quarterly. He was a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo Public Policy Institute, Japan (2005-2006), and also taught at Korea University, Seoul, South Korea (2004-2005), University of Tokyo, Japan (2003-2004), Asia-Pacific University, Oita, Japan (2002-2003)] “Keeping Up With Asia”, Foreign Affairs, September/October 2008 p.119) [Gale Group Databases] [Ethos]


“Washington has also squandered a measure of its soft power by failing to lead on energy and environmental issues. Because the United States is the world’s second-largest emitter of carbon dioxide, Washington’s lack of decisive action on climate change has been criticized in many quarters. U.S. inaction has also compounded the underlying problems by providing a good excuse for both China and India to avoid their own responsibilities and stall on developing clean-energy economies.”


This has two impacts:

Impact1: More CO2 emitted, since China and India have an excuse, acidifying our oceans even further.

Impact2: Lost soft power/international leadership = terrorism and economic hardship


Joshua Kurlantzick [Visiting scholar in the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a fellow at the USC School of Public Diplomacy and the Pacific Council on International Policy; previously foreign editor at The New Republic], “The Decline of American Soft Power”, Published in Current History, December 2005 [Vol. 104, Issue 686; pg. 419][ProQuest]


“A broad decline in soft power has many practical implications. These include the drain in foreign talent coming to the United States, the potential backlash against American companies, the growing attractiveness of China and Europe, and the possibility that anti-US sentiment will make it easier for terrorist groups to recruit. In addition, with a decline in soft power, Washington is simply less able to persuade others.”




Both of these significant issues are a direct result of federal inaction on a renewable portfolio standard.


It is because of this inaction on this critical issue that we offer

Part 4: The Plan

Agency: Congress, the President, and any other necessary federal agency


Enforcement: The Federal government will carry out this plan through the EPA, FERC and the Department of Energy


Mandates:

  1. Amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to include a federal 20% RPS to be met by 2020.
  2. Renewable Exchange Credits (REC) will be made available.


Funding: Normal Means


The Affirmative Team reserves the right to clarify on this plan in future speeches.


But how will creating a federal RPS solve for the harms? We present..


Part 5: Solvency

1. RPS = Less CO2


Union of Concerned Scientists, 6 March 2006, “Increasing Wisconsin's Renewable Portfolio Standard; Creating Jobs and Stabilizing Energy Bills”, http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/solutions/renewable_energy_solutions/increasing-wisconsins.html


By offsetting generation from power plants that burn coal, oil, and natural gas, the renewable standard would reduce mercury emissions and other toxic air pollution that cause[s] public health problems such as asthma, learning disorders, and even premature death. The 10 percent standard would reduce mercury emissions by 275 pounds by 2020. It would also reduce heat-trapping CO2 emissions by more than five million metric tons by 2020—a 13 percent reduction compared with 2001 levels and equivalent to taking 800,000 cars off the road. This is a significant reduction as power plants are responsible for more than 40 percent of Wisconsin’s total CO2 emissions from energy use. And by reducing the need to extract, transport, and consume fossil fuels, the renewable standard would limit the damage done to the state’s water and land resources and conserve natural resources for future generations. (brackets added for clarification)




2. Reducing GHGs demonstrates international leadership


Steve Connor (Science editor at the Independent Newspaper, four time winner of British Science Journalism award), 19 April 2006, “Scientists condemn US as emissions of greenhouse gases hit record level”, Published: The Independent, http://web.archive.org/web/20110511045003/http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/scientists-condemn-us-as-emissions-of-greenhouse-gases-hit-record-level-474742.html


“The US and the UK are the two leading scientific nations in the world and are home to some of the best climate researchers."But in terms of fulfilling the commitment made by their signature to the UN convention to stabilise greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere, neither country is demonstrating leadership by reducing their emissions to the levels required," Professor Read said. The US accounts for about a quarter of the total global emissions of man-made carbon dioxide or the other gases such as methane that can exacerbate the earth's greenhouse effect, which traps sunlight and heat.




I'd like to close with a quote from Ken Caldeira, who holds a Ph.D. In atmospheric science:


Ken Caldeira (Ph.D. In Atmospheric Science from the University of New York, former environmental scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, currently fellow at the Carnegie Institute Department of Global Ecology), 22 September 2008, “Modest CO2 cutbacks may be too little, too late for coral reefs”, Published: Carnegie Institute

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-09/ci-mcc092208.php


“If current trends in CO2 emissions continue unabated,” says Caldeira, “in the next few decades, we will produce chemical conditions in the oceans that have not been seen for tens of millions of years. We are doing something very profound to our oceans. Ecosystems like coral reefs that have been around for many millions of years just won’t be able to cope with the change.” “When you go to the seashore, the oceans seem huge,” he adds. “It’s hard to imagine we could wreck it all. But if we want our children to enjoy a healthy ocean, we need to start cutting carbon emissions now.”


We, the United States are responsible for a quarter of global emissions. Whether we like it or not, we are the leaders in the fight against pollution and to save the oceans. Its time we acted like we care.