Cap and trade won’t cut it | Part 1
Under pressure from the Obama administration, the House Energy and Commerce Committee has put forward its proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the US. The plan calls for the creation of a cap-and-trade market, as the mechanism to begin reducing the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions. While the US currently produces roughly 20% of the world’s annual emissions, the new bill won’t see US emissions drop below 2005 levels until 2026. James Handley from the Carbon Tax Center believes not only that cap-and-trade is a flawed system in general, but that the current plan has been made even worse by way of concessions to the energy companies, big coal in particular. The result is a bill, according to Handley, that is left unlikely to achieve needed emission cuts, likely to create serious financial instability, and incapable of protecting the most vulnerable from its intended hike in energy prices.
James Handley is the Washington, DC representative for the Carbon Tax Center. A trained chemical engineer and lawyer, Handley worked for years as an enforcement attorney with the Environmental Protection Agency. A lifelong member of the Sierra Club, Handley has published in the Environmental Law Reporter, the Washington Post, and the New Yorker.