6.15.09   â€˘   Focus: How the Pollution Cap Works

Democrats have put forward a comprehensive solution to address our energy, economic and climate challenge that will create clean energy jobs in every region of the country.

Meanwhile, opponents have argued against new jobs, and launched a series of misleading attacks focused on one element of our plan - putting a cap on carbon pollution.

The truth is the Waxman-Markey emission reduction plan to fight global warming is simple. It makes polluters pay and helps clean companies prosper.

It's the same American solution we put in place to successfully fight ACID RAIN in 1990- after which time electricity rates fell 10 percent, and the U.S. economy added 16 million new jobs.

A market-based cap on pollution puts a limit on the amount of carbon and other heat-trapping emissions large power plants and other sources can emit. It then uses the power of a well-regulated market to get companies competing to produce the cleanest and cheapest energy and materials. It then re-invests revenues from the market back to consumers, energy research and development, and job-creation measures.

Over time, pollution is reduced and our energy, vehicles, appliances, and other parts of our economy will be cleaner, cheaper and American-made.

It's important to point out that the Acid Rain solution had bi-partisan support and was signed by the first President Bush. Former Senator John Warner (R-VA) endorsed the Waxman-Markey bill, and even Sen. John McCain and Newt Gingrich have backed market-based pollution caps as the best vehicle for fighting pollution.

The Waxman-Markey approach not only fights pollution, it also invests resources into consumer and worker protection, clean energy and efficiency savings for businesses and families.

This video from the Environmental Defense Fund, a USCAP Member, provides a simple explanation of how a market-based emissions reduction plan works.

News Stories & Editorials


A believer that information breeds action, Mr. Parker's next project is to raise awareness about the daily greenhouse-gas emissions around the world by setting up a second-by-second counter in New York City.

MR. PARKER: Until you can see the amount of carbon emissions in the atmosphere and the price of carbon every single day, I don't think the world is going to be sensitive enough to the urgency that is required to attack the problem. So you sensitize everybody to it, you remind them daily about it. Then you put a price on it, and let the market figure it out.

LA TIMES: Gasoline price surge comes at bad time

"The gasoline rise is like a tax we feel very painfully every time we go to a gas station," said Ed Leamer, director of the UCLA Anderson Forecast. For consumers struggling to regain their confidence, "it adds uncertainty. It will tend to retard the economic recovery and make it less powerful."

"That really opened my eyes," said Persinko, 51. "It's speculators driving the commodities market, or the oil companies are pillaging again. Last time it happened, it helped bring the whole economy down. Now it's happening again.

EP ONLINE: Farmers' Group Outlines Cap and Trade Bill Priorities

"Agriculture has a vested interest in participating in cap and trade and climate change legislation," says Jon Scholl, president of American Farmland Trust. "There are many stewardship and economic opportunities for producers to capture under a cap and trade system and in climate change legislation in general, but we must include agriculture or we'll face potentially onerous regulations that were not designed to address the agriculture sector well."

REUTERS: Global PC makers vying for "Green" crown

"It's really a green arms race, in which they're trying to one up each other, ... the good news is they're all working in this direction and that's going to benefit themselves, their customers and the environment."

GRIST: Labor teams up with enviros to pass climate bill and promote green jobs

After working for the United Steelworkers International Union for 30 years, Lauren Horne left in January to take on a new role within the labor movement-rallying union members to help fight climate change. Horne, a Pittsburgh native, is now coordinating an education campaign in Pennsylvania for the Labor Climate Project, a program run by the Blue Green Alliance. She spends her days traveling to union meetings throughout the state, where she teaches members about the problem of global warming and the ways that solutions could lead to new, green jobs for blue-collar workers.

WASHINGTON POST [Letter to the Editor]: A Federal Role in Energy-Saving Buildings

More than 40 states enforce energy codes. This bill will simply require them to be more effective.

Complementary policies such as building codes and standards, along with financial incentives for energy efficiency, as this bill would provide, offer the most effective way of meeting a cap at the lowest cost. These policies could reduce or eliminate the possibility that the cost of emissions permits will lead to higher energy prices, and they could cut electricity bills by reducing consumption.


Instead of fighting offshore-wind power like most of their peers, some East Coast commercial fisheries are trying a different tack: They're angling for a piece of the action.

The company they formed, incorporated as Fishermen's Energy LLC in 2007, moved a step closer to that goal in October when it won a $4 million grant from the state of New Jersey to begin the initial stages of development on a proposed 350-megawatt wind farm off Atlantic City.

THE GUARDIAN [UK]: Emerald Isle plots green revolution

The good news is that Ireland's predicament makes it a prime candidate for a "green new deal" - policies aimed not just at helping the economy through a difficult time but also to make it better able to face the twin challenges of a world where fossil fuels are dwindling and the temperature is rising.

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