Obama Commits to a Strong Cap-and-Trade System

Tony KreindlerIn a video message delivered this week to a bipartisan group of governors at a global warming summit in California, President-Elect Obama made it clear that his climate change priorities start with a cap and trade system to reduce America’s global warming pollution and unleash a clean energy revolution.

My presidency will mark a new chapter in America’s leadership on climate change that will strengthen our security and create millions of new jobs in the process. That will start with a federal cap-and-trade system. We’ll establish strong annual targets that set us on a course to reduce emissions to their 1990 levels by 2020, and reduce them an additional 80% by 2050. Further, we’ll invest $15 billion each year to catalyze private-sector efforts to build a clean-energy future.

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It’s a momentous statement that lights the fuse for climate change legislation in 2009. This is exactly what America and the world needs now – a strong cap-and-trade bill will jump-start job creation in new energy industries, and take a huge step toward solving climate change.

This post is by Tony Kreindler, media director for the National Climate Campaign at Environmental Defense Fund.

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  1. Posted November 25, 2008 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    America and the World can exceed the current Kyoto requirements without giving up anything in livelyhood.
    Transportation (FCHTMC)
    Sustainable (FCHTMC) changeover increases mileage, multi-fuel, Solar-green. 2009 installations begin!

  2. fredpike
    Posted December 19, 2008 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Green jobs?????
    The entire green movement is nothing but a feel-good idea for people who have no understanding of the real world.
    Global warming does not exist, as 90% of the evidence shows.
    And, even if it does exist, all that it will cause is that Canada will gain, while Mexico loses. So, who cares?
    Car pollution is about as significant to the planet, as a child peeing into the ocean.
    You people NEED to understand that one, overriding, fact.

  3. joebhed
    Posted December 21, 2008 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    There is a misplaced sense of security in the cap-and-trade system that deserves discussion before we dive headfirst into that policy position.
    I know of EDF’s reliance on the acid-rain C&T experience as proof of the foundation of its C&T policies.
    Acid rain pollutants and the technologies to control SOX and NOX were readily available at the time the C&T program came into existence.
    Not true with carbon balancing methods.
    The big lie comes into play that C&T is superior to a carbon tax only BECAUSE C&T guarantees reaching the goals that are established, while the carbon tax only guarantees both a price signal AND a funding mechanism.
    The C&T does not guarantee the achievement of any goal, and I am looking for the C&T insurance market to set a standard that evaluates the risks that it will NOT be reached.
    Separate the Cap from the Trade.
    It can be seen they are NOT attached to a means of achieving the target levels.
    The trading of pollution allowances will take place in an impossible fractured financial services market.
    The Cap will play out according to the availability of options for meeting the Cap’s goals.
    As a result, the CAP part of the equation can be called CAP or PAY.
    In contrast with acid rain C&T, if technology is NOT AVAILABLE to meet the CAP, one of two things will happen.
    Consumers will pay and receive no benefits, or there will be blackouts/brownouts.
    So, the EDF scenario may play out as Pay and Trade, without meeting the cap-setting goals.
    Its as simple as that.
    The carbon tax is the way to go if we want to achieve our carbon-balancing goals.
    After reading Nat Keohane’s rebuff, re-read the Congressional Budget Office study from earlier this year on why the Carbon tax gets us to our carbon goals FASTER AND CHEAPER than cap-and-trade.
    And all of that was written before our current financial (market-trading) crisis.
    On Obama’s plans, as with EDf’s, I am not impressed

  4. mark
    Posted February 1, 2009 at 5:08 am | Permalink

    It all sounds really great. I have always loved the notion of clean renewable energy especially solar power.
    I agree to some extent with the Comment above from fredpike.
    The word climate change can have various meanings Global warming however may be a hoax as it has been discovered that the Earths temperature is really governed primarily by the sun and always has been. The sun has various cycles of activity and it seems the earth is indeed due for climate change but not in the way we think. It may be about to get colder! President Obamas Climate Change Advisers have been Told Global Warming Is Over << read it here http://www.obama-climate-change.com/obama-climate-change-advisers-told-global-warming-is-over/

  5. mark
    Posted February 1, 2009 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    As for the “Green” jobs, I feel it is a good direction environmentally and perhaps economically. The US must get itself of Oil as quickly as possible. However new technology must be discovered soon; for example the improvement in the efficiency of the solar cell is essential. 007 man with the golden gun – didnt the villian in that have a device that magnified the power of the sun astronomically? im sure such technology can be devised. Obama – US to Create 5 Million New Green Jobs

  6. mark
    Posted February 1, 2009 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    Obama on the Diversification of US Energy Sources professes that 10 Percent of US Electricity is to come from Renewable Sources by the year 2012. He says “Our economy, security and environment will be best served through a sustained effort to diversify our energy sources.” So the climate change agenda seems driven by more than just caring for the planet.
    It seems to be benefitial both economically and in terms of national security. – Obama on the Diversification of US Energy Sources