Although I have no idea if the power being referred to is actually "green" and in any way better for our environment than regular power, the "green power" credit market described in this article works exactly how I'd like and expect.

Whole Foods will buy 458,000 megawatt-hours of the wind energy credits from Boulder, Colo.-based Renewable Choice Energy Inc. Neither company revealed the dollar value of the two-year contract.

"Right now, the main benefit is public relations," said Andrew Aulisi, senior associate at the nonprofit World Resources Institute. "For a company like Whole Foods, which has a particular kind of clientele, I can imagine this is an important way they relate to their customers."

Unlike slapping solar panels on a roof, buying green power credits does not mean that wind-generated electricity will power all Whole Foods' stores. Rather, the amount spent on the credits will pump more wind energy into the electric grid overall, reducing the amount of coal and natural gas used nationally.

I'm all for protecting the environment, and I think markets like these are the best way to do so. Again, assuming the power is actually "green"... but that's up to the clients to decide, not me and not the government.



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