Yes, it’s more complicated than that — this was a hard story to come up with a title for — but this is the gist of a new proposed plan (or several new plans) for balancing the nation’s budget that would ALSO, by chance, cut CO2 emissions considerably, thus slowing or stopping human-caused global warming and saving us trillions of dollars in damage and healthcare costs in the process. Here’s a little more:
The Peter G. Peterson Foundation funded six groups from across the political spectrum to put forward plans addressing our nation’s fiscal challenges. All the plans are here. The Center for American Progress plan, “Budgeting for Growth and Prosperity” brings the deficit below 2% of GDP within 6 years and fully balances by 2030.
The CAP budget does so while boosting clean energy research and deployment funding roughly $10 billion a year — and instituting a high and rising CO2 price. The plan achieves the CO2 reduction targets from the 2009 House climate and clean energy jobs bill (Waxman-Markey): A 42% cut (from 2005 levels) by 2030, and 83% cut by 2050.
The CAP plan does not specify whether the carbon price would be instituted as a tax or some sort of trading mechanism. Lower income groups are protected from the impact of higher energy prices through rebates and tax reform. The plan creates a single 15% tax bracket for 80% of Americans. Some of the additional clean energy funding can also go towards efficiency measures that will help lower people’s bills.
Actually, 5 out of the 6 plans proposed recommend putting a price on carbon (some even recommend a higher price than the Center for American Progress)!
Really, it is no surprise at all to us on CleanTechnica that putting a price on CO2 could help balance the country’s budget, but that so many groups from across the political spectrum are proposing this in their plans is surprising given the state of the political environment in the U.S. these days and the demonization of cap and trade or of a carbon tax.
Read more about these plans over on Climate Progress: Bombshell: High and rising price for carbon pollution emerges as credible deficit reduction strategy
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