Carol Browner

Senior fellow, Center for American Progress; former director, White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy

An excerpt from Washington Post Live’s recent Smart Energy conference.

People like to pooh-pooh regulations and suggest that, somehow or another, regulations are not good for business. But, in fact, regulations can create business certainty and business opportunity. When the government puts in place a requirement and standard, that means there’s the certainty of a return on capital investments.

And we have a long history in this country of doing just that. If you go back to 1990 when the Congress decided to ban chlorofluorocarbons, CFCs, a market opportunity was created. And we found a solution or a replacement for CFCs, which were dangerous to the upper ozone, and we did it more cheaply and more quickly than anyone anticipated.

Some in this industry and the natural gas exploration extraction industry have not been as forthcoming as others. . . . I would just encourage the industry to be as transparent as possible in an effort to ensure that this is a thoughtful discussion about how we move forward.