Thursday, July 16, 2009

What the heck is Cap and Trade anyway?

So we have this huge climate bill going through the Senate right now. I know, hopefully you all know about it, but if you don't, now's the chance to catch up on your reading. So what is this that has our esteemed Sarah Palin writing for the Washington Post? Yep, if you didn't catch that - riveting... in the ghostwriter for a lame duck governor sort of way. Anyhow, she doesn't like it. Pretty much, no republicans like it. The biggest problem people seem to have with this is that energy prices go up. And they might. There's a good chance that the utilities will start charging more for what they have to do to deal with it. Keep in mind that here in Florida, Progress Energy customers have a surcharge on their bills for a nuclear plant that isn't even starting construction yet. But besides pesky little raises like that - they always do the right thing, right?

So...We will build an artificial market with a cap on the total amount of pollution and force companies to trade credits (buy and sell) in order to keep from producing more pollution than the country should on the whole. The money generated, hopefully gets funneled toward energy projects that keep us from generating even more pollution like wind, solar, geothermal, and all that. The arguments against it really don't get into what is the most basic issue - not doing something is not an option when it comes to carbon dioxide emissions. They mostly avoid it and just say something that sounds like - Don't tax us! We'll find some more cheap oil! We promise!

So anyhow, to avoid this becoming a rant, I found this video a few months ago and if you can handle this geek's rapid fire delivery, it is a pretty basic explanation of cap and trade. Hope it helps.


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