The cap and trade bill is little more than a twinkle in Obama’s eye, but it’s already causing hot and heavy lobbying to undo its key provision.
The electric utilities are pressing to get 40% of the credits free of charge and the refiners are pressing to get 30% of the credits free of charge, The Wall Street Journal reports. Those portions equate to the amount of emissions each industry throws off. So, they’re both hoping to get all their credits for free, which undermines the system.
The adminstration wants to auction off carbon credits at a price estimated to be around $13-$20 a pop. With that revenue, consumers get a rebate to help with any higher electrical bills and low-carbon technology gets a little extra funding. The companies that aren’t lobbying for free credits, are asking for a slice that money.
Economists point out that it’ll cost extra, no matter what, according to the Journal, so why not just charge these companies? It’s a good point, but it doesn’t matter. The messy business of implementing a cap and trade system is underway. We expect months of stories like these.
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