Will the Feds Manhandle Your Data Center?

Will the Feds Manhandle Your Data Center?

The agreement just reached by the G8 to reduce greenhouse emissions may not be a particularly strong one, but it will inevitably lead to increased U.S. attempts to halt global warming. And that means that your data center may be in the cross-hairs.
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Data centers are power-hungry, and ultimately lead to significant emissions. So one way or another, they'll be affected by regulations such as cap-and-trade ones related to CO2.

That has at least one influential technology leader blowing the horn against regulation. Mike Manos, senior vice president of technical services at Digital Realty Trust, and formerly the general manager of Microsoft's datacenter division, claims in his blog that federal green laws related to data centers are on the way, and warns:
Whether you view this to be a good thing or bad thing its something that you and your company are going to have to start planning for very shortly. This is no longer a drill.
Manos makes clear that he thinks this is a bad thing, and he issued a call to arms of sorts. He wants to establish a formal lobbying group to curtail any government involvement in data center regulation:
As an industry we need to start involving ourselves in educating and representing the government and regulatory agencies in our space. While the Green Grid charter specifically forbids this kind of activity, having a Data Center industry lobby group to ensure dumb things won't happen is a must in my opinion.
I can understand Manos' concerns, but I think he's on the wrong track. The federal government is very unlikely to issue strict green regulations related to data centers. And if they do regulate them in some way, the regulations will no doubt be reasonable. The current administration is very technology-savvy --- after all, the current Secretary of Energy Steven Chu was recently the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, whose work was heavily dependent on its data center. Chu did some great work related to Green IT when at the labs. He knows what can and can't be done --- and will make sure that data centers aren't hamstrung with unnecessary regulation.
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