the visible hand

it is the theory which decides what can be observed – einstein

McCain: All your atmosphere are belong to us

Posted by ecoshift on June 2, 2008

Robert Reich weighs in on McCain’s climate proposal. McCain’s proposal grants permits as a gift to current polluters – as if they already owned the right. Notably, Obama calls for an auction that would generate at least some benefit to the nation for the issuance of permits. While Reich suggests a dividend check to citizens to compensate for the increased costs that will be passed through to consumers there may be other uses for the funds that would contribute to the reduction of emissions — renewable energy R&D comes to mind. Perhaps the public could end up owning the patents on cost effective clean tech alternatives to fossil fuels.  If we, as consumers, are going to take the downside of global warming let’s ask our representatives to negotiate for a bit of the upside for us, as citizen-owners of the air we breathe…. Then let’s hope they/we invest it wisely.

Worth reading the whole post. It’s not long; follow the link:

Robert Reich’s Blog: Why McCain’s “Cap-and-Trade” Won’t Work Nearly as Well as Obama’s

With McCain now on board for a “cap-and-trade” system, it’s a certainty that we’ll have a president next year who wants to address global warming by imposing an overall cap on U.S. carbon emissions, which will drop annually. The “trade” part of the equation is that companies finding efficient ways to cut emissions can sell the unused portions of their permits to others.

But look more closely and you see a big difference between McCain and Obama (and HRC, for that matter)on how the permits are allocated. McCain’s proposal would give the lion’s share to companies that are now the biggest polluters. This does have some logic to it: after all, as the overall cap tightens each year, the biggest polluters face the largest challenges in cutting emissions.

By contrast, Senators Obama and Clinton have both proposed allocating permits through an auction. Under this system, every company – large or small – would have to buy rights to pollute. As a result, the biggest polluters would have to pay the most – thereby providing them with the greatest incentive to cut emissions right from the start. This makes more sense.

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