Thursday, August 9, 2007

Debate on Cap and Trade with Environmental Defense

That's the headline at Hill Heat. He has really picked up the torch on what could be mistaken for an arcane issue.
Mistaken simply because the dollar amounts are so huge.

The European price for carbon emissions has been centered around 20 Euros for the last month (which is handy for your math challenged correspondent).

The U.S. released almost exactly 6,000,000,000 tonnes of CO2 in 2006 (also a nice round number, I won't get into the other gases).

At this morning's exchange rate that means we are creating property rights with a value of $164 Billion. Per year.
And structured to increase in price. Every Year.

I hope this short version explains why the pigs are at the trough (and stalking Gucci Gulch) and why I post on this more than my very patient readers might want. Back to Hill Heat:

Matt Stoller of Open Left, who has been highly skeptical of all cap-and-trade approaches, let alone the Lieberman-Warner proposal, wrote this analysis yesterday:
Anyway, the bill Bush is going to get behind is the Lieberman-Warner bill, opposed by the Sierra Club but supported by the intensely corporate-friendly and compromised Environmental Defense. There’s a green civil war coming, with ED President Fred Krupp playing the role of the DLC. The other environmental groups are split, with the Pew Center and the Nature Conservancy following Krupp over the cliff. The Union of Concerned Scientists and NRDC are ‘concerned’, and the LCV and the Sierra Club are clear that this is a bad move. If you want to see a dysfunctional, degraded, and compromised movement that have lost touch with their mission statements, look no further than ED, Pew, and the Nature Conservancy.
Today, Tony Kreindler of ED responded on Stoller’s site. Here’s an excerpt:
What Lieberman and Warner have offered is a blueprint for a climate bill with an airtight emissions cap and a market for carbon that will spur investment in cost-effective emissions reductions. They also have a plan for managing economic impacts, and importantly, it doesn’t compromise the integrity of the emissions cap. Does that favor corporations over the environment? We don’t think so, and we won’t support a bill that fails the environmental test.

The discussion is continued at Open Left.

Hill Heat is making a serious contribution.
I can only hope that my arguments against giving the allowances versus auctioning them, returning at least part of the auction proceeds to the citizens who ultimately have to bear the burden of the mandated higher energy prices and pointing out how setting the "early action" start date is key to gaming the system, contributes to the final decision.