Washington University Students for International Collaboration on the Environment

US and China Clash over Clean Energy Subsidies (+ Intro)

Hello everyone!

I just wanted to briefly introduce myself (Michael Craig) and then share an interesting article from the NYTimes. I’m a 5th year Environmental Studies major specializing in Biology/Ecology (with a minor in Environmental Engineering) at Washington University. I’ve done independent research on both seed predation and renewable energy policies, and I’m hoping to begin work in the environmental advocacy field come January (although the job market doesn’t look so great right now…). I also love to read, mainly science fiction, fantasy, and history; run; and eat. I’ve traveled a fair bit, mostly in the Americas and Europe. The closest I’ve been to China was South Korea, where I traveled on an educational trip with Wash U’s engineering school last summer. I look forward to meeting and getting to know all of you in the coming weeks!

Now, on to more weighty manners: there has been a series of articles from the NYTimes discussing an ongoing spat between United States manufacturers and the Chinese government. Basically, many clean energy businesses in the United States have accused the Chinese government of violating World Trade Organization policies by giving clean energy uncompanies preferential treatment and subsidies. This feud is just another piece in the puzzle of ongoing tension between China and the United States, which includes the argument over the valuation of the Renminbi. I think Richard’s previous post is absolute right in that we need more trust, but I also think the ongoing fights between the United States and China over economic issues only serves to foment the distrust between our nations.

The article is available at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/16/business/16wind.html?hp and is titled “U.S. Plans Inquiry on China’s Subsidies of Clean Energy.”

-Michael Craig, Washington University in St. Louis


3 responses

  1. Ellie Cooper

    Hey Everyone!

    I too wanted to introduce myself, but also respond to Michael’s post.

    I’m a junior at WashU majoring in Economics and Political Science with a minor in Environmental Science. I’ve been active on campus promoting individual sustainability initiatives, and I spent this past summer researching/writing on energy security at the Brookings Institution in DC. I spent the summer before that in China (or rather a month of that summer), specifically in Shanghai, Beijing, and SW China. I’m really excited to meet everyone!

    It struck me when I was first reading the series of articles Michael posted on, that the same issue has plagued the US civil nuclear industry as it tries to compete with state-run or state-financed firms (principally Russian, South Korean, and French) selling nuclear power plant services and components. The situation is complicated by variations by nation in fuel cycle policies and regulation. Given that the US is currently the largest nuclear power producer currently but that utilities have struggled to get the go-ahead to build more plants, and China is investing heavily in nuclear power (foresight+government policy/incentives) I wonder how both this issue and the trade issues Michael posted about will effect both the US and China’s thinking at COP16…I would hazard a guess and say it isn’t for the better!


    On a completely different note, I wanted to post an article on coal mine explosion that occurred in China very recently. I’m wondering how much regulation has been put in place recently (The article refers to one) and how well they are being enforced?


    I was going to close with “Cheers!” but it just didn’t seem appropriate.

    -Ellie Cooper, WashU

    October 16, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    • Er, this blog is not very user-friendly. I have to develop more of its functions. But for an engineering student, I have seldom write a blog. Why CSers are so busy!! Still there are two projects waiting for me.

      October 22, 2010 at 10:31 pm

      • Why my name turns to wusice? Actually, I am Gilbert Shi. Hahahaha…

        October 22, 2010 at 10:34 pm

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