Geez, I thought we were done with the Obama blogging for the week, but apparently I just can’t help myself. Take a look at what the administration is asking Congress to send it in the way of Cap & Trade legislation (see page 21 of the main budget document, which you can get here).
Begin a Comprehensive Approach to Transform Our Energy Supply and Slow Global Warming. The Administration is developing a comprehensive energy and climate change plan to invest in clean energy, end our addiction to oil, address the global climate crisis, and create new American jobs that cannot be outsourced. After enactment of the Budget, the Administration will work expeditiously with key stakeholders and the Congress to develop an economy-wide emissions reduction program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions approximately 14 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, and approximately 83 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. This program will be implemented through a cap-and-trade system, a policy approach that dramatically reduced acid rain at much lower costs than the traditionalgovernment regulations and mandates of the past. Through a 100 percent auction to ensure that the biggest polluters do not enjoy windfall profits, this program will fund vital investments in a clean energy future totaling $150 billion over 10 years, starting in Fy 2012. The balance of the auction revenues will be returned to the people, especially vulnerable families, communities, and businesses to help the transition to a clean energy economy.
To me, this has all the right ideas: steep reductions in emissions; full auctioning of carbon permits to prevent windfalls by polluters; and a good mix of investments in clean energy and rebates to consumers.
Who knows what Congress will eventually give us—but this is the exact right proposal to get the ball rolling. And let’s hope that legislators in Washington and Oregon, who are contemplating a regional cap and trade program, will consider the US proposal as a model.