The benefits of pricing carbon

Sign of the times: In a wide-ranging speech on energy policy, a leading U.S. energy executive discusses the need to place some type of price on carbon dioxide emissions.

A recently posted video features Robert Malone, chairman and president of BP America, Inc., speaking during an October visit to the MIT Sloan School about the need for a comprehensive national energy policy for the United States. Interestingly, Malone, who covered many topics, included in his talk a discussion of the benefits of placing some type of price on carbon dioxide emissions.

Noted Malone: "Until every producer and every consumer knows the cost of carbon, then the uncertainty with planning and investing in all kinds of energy projects is going to remain high. Pricing carbon will make energy conservation a lot more attractive, and it's going to attract dollars into the renewables....It's also going to allow informed decisions about investments in fossil fuels -- and it's going to make us look hard at the technology that we use, because the ultimate goal will be to reduce the carbon impact of those fuels."

Here's Malone's speech (the section on climate change and pricing carbon begins about 27 minutes into the video) :