Friday, January 18, 2008

PART 2 - Barack Obama’s Energy Plan: Implement a 100% Auction Cap & Trade Program

Barack Obama plans to implement a "100% Auction Cap-and-Trade" program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This will reduce Carbon Emissions 80 percent by 2050. Barack Obama is a champion of the national effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Obama supports implementation of a market-based cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon emissions by the amount scientists say is necessary: 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Obama will start reducing emissions immediately in his administration by establishing strong annual reduction targets, and he’ll also implement a mandate of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. In contrast to other approaches like a carbon tax, cap-and-trade programs provide maximum assurances that emissions will decline to desired levels by the targeted dates.

A cap-and-trade program draws on the power of the marketplace to reduce emissions in a cost-effective and flexible manner. Under the program, an overall cap on carbon emissions is established. The emissions allowed under the cap are divided up into individual allowances that represent the permission to emit that amount. Because the emissions cap restricts the amount of pollution allowed, allowances that give a company the ability to pollute take on financial value.

Companies are free to buy and sell allowances in order to continue operating in the most profitable manner available to them. Those that are able to reduce pollution at a low cost can sell their extra allowances to companies facing high costs. Each year the number of allowances will decline to match the required annual reduction targets.
  • 100% Allowance Auction: Without a profit motive or incentive to innovate, corporations do not spend time or money to develop new clean ways of doing business. Obama’s cap-and-trade system will require all pollution credits to be auctioned. A 100% auction ensures that all polluters pay for every ton of emissions they release, rather than giving these emission rights away for free to coal and oil companies.
  • Invest Revenue for a Clean Energy Future: Some of the revenue generated by auctioning allowances will be used to support the development and deployment of clean energy, invest in energy efficiency improvements and address transition costs, including helping American workers affected by this economic transition and helping lower-income Americans afford their energy bills by expanding the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, expanding weatherization grants for low-income individuals to make their homes more energy efficient, and establishing a dedicated fund to assist low-income Americans afford higher electricity and energy bills.
---Taken from Barack Obama's Energy Plan, located at

No comments: