Dec 15, 2009

Cap And Trade For Dummies.

Okay, I just realized that I can not go any further in my life without knowing what in the heck cap and trade is. I can not ignore it anymore. My ignorance is killing me. As painful as it may be to have the information I have to know what it means so, hang on just a minute while I Google "What is cap and trade? ".....oh...hmm.......drat......hang on, I am still reading......seriously?...... Drat, I just realized that I have the potential to write a blog that has my opinion in it......my opinion that may be different from your opinion...but....gulp.... I can take it. I was really hoping that a blog about cap and trade would just be about people in our government figuring out how to get us all to trade our caps with each other :)

So are you going to love learning about cap and trade from a mother of 7 who happens to have finished all her Christmas cards? I hope so :)

So when you Google "What is cap and trade?" the first result says "cap and trade 101" that sounded basic and easy so I clicked on it and in the shortest most concise way possible the people there told me the who's, where's, why's, what's, and how's of cap and trade. They don't seem to have any opinions they just lay out the facts. I read it very slowly and carefully because sometimes I can be accused of skimming words. But I really want to be able to talk intelligently about cap and trade so I forced myself to read carefully all about it then I read a Wall Street Journal article, a Heritage Foundation article, Wikipedia, and a lot more.

So what do you think of when you hear the word cap? Something you put on your head, something a dentist puts on a tooth, something to cover something, right? So the cap in this situation is a limit on the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses that a company is allowed to emit. Why do they want to limit it? It isn't a toxin, it isn't harmful to your health, it is fundamental to all forms of life and actually increased levels of it are helpful to crop production but there is concern about how increased levels of it may cause the world to get warmer and thus cause environmental damage....AKA...drum roll......global warming:) To avoid this possibility we must cap the emissions....immediately....I mean the EPA officially declared CO2 a dangerous pollutant on December 7 of this very year.

So I own a business (just pretend) that emits carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses.

(while I was choosing which business I wanted to own I actually found out that 85 percent of the U.S. economy runs on fossil fuels that emit carbon dioxide....that's a lot....imagine how much money you could make if you figured out a way to make money off of those businesses :)

Anyway the government decides to tell me how much carbon dioxide my power plant can emit and then they tell me that to be allowed to emit this set amount of carbon dioxide and other gasses I have to purchase permits from a government auction. And each permit will allow me a certain amount of "pollution." If I pollute less than my amount of permits I own I could trade my extra permits to your company which is polluting more (shame on you:) and thus needs more permits.

It is going to cost my business a lot of money to make it so it only emits as much carbon dioxide as the government says it can so I am going to have to charge you extra for what I provide for you...but you like that...it makes you happy that I am reducing carbon so you will be okay if it ends up costing the average household $680.00 a year. And if you live in Alaska, or Wyoming or anywhere in the Midwest it is going to be tougher on you because those are states that have a lot of carbon producing businesses and not as many people living in them to spread the cost out.

So my friends you have been educated. President Obama depends on carbon revenue. There are a lot of cautions about this plan all over the internet and a lot of scary statistics and numbers. But you are reading the blog of a girl who is not for more government and more taxes and is fairly distrustful of the current presidents motives....so you should go set your timer for 30 minutes and educate yourself on cap and trade so that you can help get people into office that support your views....whatever they may be. I know it is easy to console yourself with the fact that you are just one person in a huge wide world and that you can not possibly make a difference. I know that with the knowledge comes a burden but I for one could not ignore it anymore.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I too, get frustrated with myself when I don't understand something...especially things in current events. Terms get tossed around and I feel as a resposible adult I should take the time to find out about them...but only so much time - and brain power!
erin