Cap And Trade

Published on June 29th, 2010 | by Susan Kraemer


Obama Tells Senators to Use Cap and Trade to Make Polluters Pay Carbon Cost

June 29th, 2010 by  

Today, President Obama told twenty three senators who met at the White House to discuss proposed climate legislation, to use the funds of polluters, not taxpayers, in order to fund the replacement of existing fossil energy with new climate-safe energy.

Senators coming out of the meeting say that President Obama told them that the climate and clean energy bill must put a price on carbon emissions. “The president was very clear about putting a price on carbon and limiting greenhouse gas emissions,” said Senator John Kerry.

“He was very strong about the need to put a price on carbon and make polluters pay,” said Senator Joe Lieberman, adding “He made a very passionate and, I think, effective argument that polluters should pay.”

And Obama’s own words, even before the Gulf Coast gusher this year made it clear that he believes a price on pollution is needed.


“Does it make sense for us to start pricing in the fact that this thing is really bad for the environment?  And if we do, then can we do it in a way that doesn’t involve some big bureaucracy in a control and command system, but just says, look, we’re just going to — there’s going to be a price to pollution.  And then everybody can adapt and decide which are the — which are the best energies.”

Olympia Snowe, one of the only two Republicans to consistently vote with the Democrats to advance clean energy said: “I’ve long asserted that placing a price on carbon will send the appropriate signals to entrepreneurs that would unleash the innovation to position America as a global clean energy industry leader”, but also that she would limit it to the utility sector.

George LiMieux of Florida was not at the meeting, like recent “bra-waver” Lindsay Graham who spent months working with Kerry and Lieberman on creating the illusion that he was working on a bill, yet a glance through the last 50 roll call votes on clean energy/climate would reveal that Graham has yet to vote for clean energy legislation.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was conspicuously absent, as the epitome of Republican do-nothing-ism that has befallen the last few decades of Senate Republicans, during which time, coincidentally, their donations from fossil industries increased.

However, at the meeting were these Senators who voted for the Dirty Air Act this month, because “it is the job of congress, not “faceless bureaucrats at the EPA” to regulate pollution from carbon dioxide.”

Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

Susan Collins (R-ME)

Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Agriculture Chair

Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Commerce Chair

Olympia Snowe (R-ME)

George Voinovich (R-OH)

We eagerly await the help of these Senators in passing the climate and clean energy bill that America needs, passed by congress, since God forbid that the EPA should decide the fate of humanity in Humanity v. The Fossil Fuel Industry.

Better it should be Senators funded by the fossil fuel industry that make that decision for us.

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About the Author

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.

  • I think it is a great idea for the US to start taxing excess carbon emissions. For way too long, the United States has taken a backseat on environmental movements because they were focused on other things. It is understandable since green energies development and implementation tends to be expensive and not necessarily profit generating. However, especially in light of the recent oil crisis in the Gulf of Mexico, we can see that there are extremely high costs to ignoring the problems as well. With moves like this one, maybe the US can be a leader in green energy technologies, just as they are leaders in many other industries.

    • Actually cost is coming down. ANY new energy technology, needing all new infrastructure, would be more expensive to build, initially. But clean energy has free fuel. Imagine if we hadn’t exploited coal. We hadn’t built the railroads.

      Lets imagine that 18th century windmills developed into the standard energy source, James Watt and the steam engine never happened. You’d have a hard time persuading investors to build some expensive new technology based on first, mining coal, that needed to be hauled, by truck, cross country to throw on a fire, to boil water, to make steam, to turn turbines.

      People would say, why bother? We have the current infrastructure of wind farms already built and turning turbines. And the fuel is free.

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