The Washington Post got a sneak peak of Barack Obama’s budget plans, and the paper is reporting that the budget assumes there will be revenue by 2012 from carbon emission trading. Of the revenue generated by the cap and trade scheme, $15 billion is going to clean energy projects and $60 billion will be towards tax cuts for low and middle income residents.
WaPo: In testimony to Congress in September, Peter Orszag — then director of the Congressional Budget Office and now Obama’s budget director — estimated that revenue from a cap-and-trade bill that died on the Senate floor last year would have reached $112 billion by 2012 and would have kept rising afterward. By 2020, Orszag estimated, a cap-and-trade program might generate $50 billion to $300 billion a year.
While that sounds all well and good, cap and trade is no done deal. This is an issue that divides Senators along regional lines, making it tougher for any party to get legislation approved. Additionally, there are still technical hurdles to clear, like how to measure the carbon emissions and where (or if) to sell carbon credits and at what price.
Regardless of these problems, the adminstration clearly thinks it’s going to get cap and trade legislation passed soon. For the sake of its budget, it better be right.