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Clean Over Green: Deloitte Whitepaper Suggests New Approach to Energy

HOUSTON, December 9, 2009 — A low-carbon future can be possible if policy makers and industry leaders shift their focus from green energy to clean energy, according a new whitepaper from Dr. Joseph A. Stanislaw, a senior advisor to Deloitte and founder of the advisory firm The JAStanislaw Group, LLC. Stanislaw is also co-founder and former president and CEO of Cambridge Energy Research Associates.

In his whitepaper, “Clean Over Green: Striking a New Energy Balance as We Build a Bridge to a Low-Carbon Future,” Stanislaw explains that the “all-consuming global obsession with anything green has subsided” and stresses that energy decision makers should “move from breathless anticipation of a green dawn, to the more sober work of systematically and thoughtfully building toward a low-carbon future.”

According to Stanislaw, this means pursuing energy options that are clean, not simply renewable and green. Implicit in this is the idea that oil, natural gas and coal have the potential to be clean. “The principle goal of policymakers should be to establish a level playing field that makes it easier to identify the cleanest fuels producible at the lowest cost, while also reducing energy use through efficiency and other technologies,” said Stanislaw.

In the paper, Stanislaw stresses that now is a good time to shift from green to clean because we are “in the midst of creating a new development model that allows for industry leaders and policymakers to simultaneously promote economic growth and fight climate change.”

Stanislaw further recommends a series of potential changes in how we think about energy, including the following:

  • Policymakers could establish a predictable price for carbon emissions to unleash greater efforts at conservation, efficiency and demand reduction — leading to a cleaner future. Stanislaw feels that an enlightened and fair policy framework is intrinsic to this effort.
  • The current schism between the old and new energy industries — wherein the green evangelists mock the traditional fuels and the oil and gas crowd reciprocate — should end. This transformation also could be led by policymakers who admit there is no silver bullet in our common effort to build a low-carbon future. All energy forms, provided they can meet standards for being clean and cost-effective, should be able to compete for market share and funding.
  • The marginalization of natural gas, which the United States has in increasing abundance, should be an area of focused attention. This relatively clean fuel is desperately sought after by nearly every country, yet somehow the U.S. considers it a lesser fuel. Natural gas could be treated equally with other fuels in the climate change bills currently being debated in Congress.
  • The oil and gas industries could do their part by committing to developing carbon-neutral technology. The top goal could be to produce ever-cleaner oil, natural gas and coal. Within a generation, we could well be talking about clean oil, clean natural gas and clean coal.

Stanislaw concludes his white paper by explaining that “there will probably be more money spent in the energy sector in a broad sense in the next 50 years than has been invested in the past 100 years, if not in the history of mankind. Channeling these investments well, into an era of clean energy, is the challenge that policymakers, the private sector and the public all face together. The bridge to tomorrow’s energy future depends on a sensible transition plan — one that takes advantage of all of the clean fuel sources available to us.”

To download the white paper, visit

About the Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions

The Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions (Center) provides a forum for innovation, thought leadership, groundbreaking research and industry collaboration to solve the most complex energy challenges. Through the Center, Deloitte’s Energy & Resources group leads the debate on critical topics on the minds of executives — from legislative and regulatory policy to operational efficiency to sustainable and profitable growth. The Center provides complete solutions to Deloitte’s clients through a global network of specialists and thought leaders. With locations in Houston and Washington, D.C., the Center offers interaction through seminars, roundtables and other forms of engagement, where established and growing companies can come together to learn, discuss and debate. For more information, see

About Deloitte

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte LLP and Deloitte Services LP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries.


Jon Rucket
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Public Relations
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