Obama's Cap & Trade Plan Coming in '09

Obama's energy & environment adviser Jason Grumet said today that the new administration will push its cap & trade proposal in 2009. Speaking to a carbon trading conference, Grumet said that 2009 will be a "very, very busy" period for government.

A cap & trade system places a limit on how much pollution certain industries can release. That limit is divided into credits that can be purchased and sold, like stocks, so some entities can pollute more by buying credits from those who are polluting less. As time passes, the limit is decreased and credits are pulled from the market as an incentive for the industry to invest in technology to decrease their pollution.

Both McCain and Obama had proposed cap & trade systems during the 2008 campaign. Passing the program will not be easy, however, as it failed in Congress just this past summer. Many states like West Virginia and Michigan are opposed to this type of program because it forces industry to spend money on cleaner burning technology.

Although the cap & trade program may be costly for many polluters, it will generate huge amounts of money for the development of cleaner energy and manufacturing technology. Already, similar programs in individual states and regions have raised tens of millions of dollars for renewable energy. Development of these new technologies will ultimately mean more jobs and a new economic sector for America.

Read the full New York Times article on Obama's cap & trade plans for '09 HERE.

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