Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Put a Price on Global Warming Pollution

People take action when prices increase. With rising gasoline prices, people react by driving less, using more mass transit, carpooling, biking and moving from over-sized SUV's to smaller, fuel-efficient cars and gas-electric hybrids. In response to public demand to use less gasoline and save money, U.S. automakers are finally taking action to increase the fuel efficiency of their fleet. Suddenly, GM plans to close four SUV and truck plants, increase production of compact and mid-size sedans, and offer an electric hybrid in 2010. Now that's rapid change that will reduce global warming pollution and help stabilize the climate. [click image to enlarge]

Utility, coal and oil companies will also take action on global warming pollution when they have to pay for it. As long as polluting the air is free, they will continue to spew out global warming pollution and other pollutants that negatively affect the health of people and the planet. Putting a price on polluting the air is the only way to stop it. When the government enacts a sufficiently high price for polluting the air, pollution will go down. Investments will then move toward alternative energy sources that don't pollute the air.

It's time to put a price on carbon emissions that cause global warming and climate change. Scientists recommend emission cuts of 80% by 2050. To achieve this target, companies that profit by polluting our air must pay. New legislation is being proposed that will help compensate consumers for increases in energy costs and facilitate the transition to clean energy sources.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Markey Announces iCAP Climate Bill

WASHINGTON (May 28, 2008) – Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, introduced a revolutionary new bill that would reduce global warming pollution according to scientific targets, reinvest any revenue back to American workers and technology, and would establish America as a leader in solving climate change.

The bill offers a new paradigm for global warming legislation: the Cap-and-Invest system. It caps pollution at 85 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. It uses an auction system that sets a price on carbon, and allows companies to compete for reductions, or buy or trade credits within the system. It then takes the $8 Trillion in revenues expected from polluters over the length of the bill, and reinvests that money back to American families and workers and into promoting a clean energy economy.

The “Investing in Climate Action and Protection Act” (iCAP Act) amends the Clean Air Act to establish an economy-wide cap-auction-and-trade system that adheres to five core principles:
  • Reduce U.S. global warming pollution by 85 percent by 2050, the necessary U.S. contribution to stabilize atmospheric concentrations of heat-trapping gases and avoid dangerous global warming.
  • Auction pollution allowances, instead of giving them free-of-charge to polluters, to avoid windfall profits for polluters, ensure fairness and effectiveness, and reduce social costs.
  • Return over half of auction proceeds to low- and middle-income households to help compensate for any increase in energy costs as a result of climate legislation.
  • Invest the remaining auction proceeds in programs that will further reduce the costs of climate policy, spur the development of advanced low-carbon technologies, grow the U.S. economy, and address unavoidable impacts of climate change.
  • Include policies that will encourage major-emitting developing countries, like China and India, to take comparable action to reduce global warming pollution to protect the competitiveness of U.S. industry.
A video of Rep. Markey announcing the climate legislation is here.
An executive summary of the legislation here, and a report from 1Sky is here.