Chip from Thousand Oaks, Calif., proposes a company that would feed energy into the power grid by renting roofs from homeowners and installing solar panels. Joe Romm likes the idea and says businesses are considering similar proposals as the price of solar panels decreases. Bob Inglis agrees, but says there would be a greater incentive to develop new technology if people were paying for the true cost of electricity.
Host Al Lewis suggests including the cost of defending oil supply lines in the cost of gas. Romm says this idea would be politically challenging. Inglis supports this idea because people would pay near the true cost of oil, but agrees that it would be widely unpopular.
Dave from Massachusetts wants to tax energy companies for non-renewable power and refund the money collected to taxpayers to compensate for price increases. Inglis likes the transparency of this type of tax and rebate system, saying it would give consumers more choice. Romm thinks that eventually a plan to tax carbon pollution will happen.
For our "Little Fix," Jerry in Frederick, Md., offers to teach personal finance classes on topics such as balancing a checkbook, comparison shopping and buying stocks and bonds.
Music: "Always With Me, Always With You" by Joe Satriani