As a footnote to Charlotte’s Web this week on carbon offsets and the US Capitol, I would recommend two articles from The New York Times which also ran this week. The first, “The Carbon Calculus“, only references the Capital plant via the photo that accompanies the article, but delves deeper into the issue of carbon trading and some of the potential pitfalls—of course the article doesn’t really call them pitfalls. I can’t say I agree with the lead of the article that is a bit editorial “A CHANGE is in the works that could go a long way toward making alternative energy less alternative, and more attractive to consumers and businesses.” In fact the article clearly lays out the dilemma that a proposed system of cap-and-trade imposed by the federal government “could shake up the economics of energy, handicapping some fuels and favoring others.”

This dilemma meshes nicely with the second article, “Fuel without the Fossil” out today (the two are actually part of an energy series by the NYT). “Fuel Without the Fossil” also touches on environmental issues and fuel and the battle to defeat carbon dioxide but underscores the continuing need to encourage competitive innovation in many sectors and to encourage lawmakers at the local, state and federal levels to allow the market to run its course in regards to the emerging bio-fuel industry. With oil at record prices per barrel this week, even average folks are starting to follow this debate and how it will in the short- and long-run impact their pocket books.