What in hell is ‘Cap and Trade’ and why do I care?

Do you breathe?  When you go away on vacation do you breathe?  Is it the same air wherever you go…sure it is.  Have you ever said “Ahh, fresh air!”.  Then you should care.

L.A. freeway Orange air (Photo by David McNew:Getty Images)

L.A. freeway Orange air (Photo by David McNew:Getty Images)

There are presently 2 mega-solutions to maintaining clean, breathable air.  Never burning anything for fuel or power or energy ever again… and/or establishing a strong, international ‘Cap and Trade’ treaty.

‘Cap and Trade’ means, setting an maximum, measurable, amount of deadly CO2 emissions a company can emit if they buy a ‘license’ for that maximum (Cap).  If they emit less than they bought licenses for, then they can sell (Trade) some of the quantity to another company, new or over-emitting, to use for their emissions.

Simple right?

Your first question should be, “How does this reduce CO2 emissions? It sounds like they stay the same”.  Right you are.  Answer: The total amount of licenses for emissions amounts will reduce over time, to lower the total allowed emissions …hopefully to None at some, probably long away, time.

Conoco-Phillips refinery LA (Photo-David McNew:Getty Images)

Conoco-Phillips refinery LA (Photo-David McNew:Getty Images)

The catch is that the World… Earth, needs to address this approach… since air knows no boundaries.

Many, many countries and International corporations are in support of this idea…however, many rich, self-serving corporations (mostly the worst emitters) and their political puppets are against it.  They are loud, they use tricky mis-directing arguments, and spend a lot of money on a constant basis to suppress this idea.

Bejing China (Image-Paula Bronstein:Getty Images)

Bejing China (Image-Paula Bronstein:Getty Images)

With a ‘Cap and Trade’ plan added pressure can be applied to polluters. Many cap-and-trade systems allow organizations to participate who do NOT pollute.  Thus environmental groups could purchase and retire allowances or credits and drive up the price of licenses.  Corporations could also prematurely retire allowances by donating them to a non-profit entity and then be eligible for a tax deduction.

This is a “market-based” plan of ‘Cap and Trade’ of emissions trading and addresses environmental problems instead of “command and control” measures as laws, easily politically corruptible by lobbyist efforts, as we all well know.

Multiple Smokestacks-(Photo-David McNew:Getty Images)

Multiple Smokestacks-(Photo-David McNew:Getty Images)

Arguments against ‘Cap and Trade’ plans usually start with politicians who ask “Why should we suffer(?) or pay more, when countries like China are still polluting”.  There are two answers.  First, aren’t we the leaders of the free world?  Don’t we always brag about how we are the technology leaders, business leaders, ingenuity leaders, everything leaders in the World?  Second, China is very engaged in pollution solutions in their more modern, large cities. Some of their efforts could make us blush.  Admittedly, at the same time, they are expanding carbon based emissions power plants for their under-developed areas and exploding demand for power.  Bad air is a big problem as visitors to Beijing can attest.

Christie dropping Cap and Trade

Christie dropping Cap and Trade

We should be helping China, India, and other developing areas, with this conundrum by good-example and sharing our clean technology solutions.  There is an industry here to develop as well.  Lets again be the “Leaders” we keep giving lip service.

The World Bank said, in 2010, that introducing border tariffs (import duties) to non-participating countries could lead to a proliferation of trade measures …or trade war… in which the U.S. would suffer too.  Just a bad idea.  Tariffs could also impose an undeserved burden on low-income countries that have contributed very little, if at all, to the problem of climate change and bad air.

Now you know what ‘Cap and Trade” means.  Now you can follow the news and have an informed opinion…and make it known.

Casualmere® hopes you will help us help the Earth.


AND- Please “Share” this blog if you enjoyed it.

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