The real hidden catch of the cap-and-trade system, though, is that it will require consumers to pay twice: first for emission allowances and then for the construction of new low- and zero-carbon power plants.
The solution? Keep the cap and remove trading from the equation: Mandate that the industry, over the same 40-year period, simply limit its emissions to the same levels proposed in the Waxman-Markey bill. This can be accomplished with a clear plan that gives states an option: Either they participate in a cap-and-trade program or they elect an alternative compliance mechanism to reach the same greenhouse gas emission goals by working with their utilities to develop a 40-year program of shutting down aging coal plants, retrofitting plants to capture carbon dioxide if the technology becomes available, and/or building zero-carbon energy plants. More important, the carbon dioxide reductions in this proposal can be achieved while providing adequate time to plan to minimize price shock and economic dislocation. It is the states, through their public utilities commissions -- not the federal government -- that have both the interest and obligation to manage citizens' costs while transitioning to a carbon-free future.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Let's Have Cap and No Trade
A real good op-ed by David Sokol, CEO of Mid-American, regarding the cap and trade proposal: