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Some implications of Obama’s carbon budget

It is interesting to see how Obama’s administration is wrestling with the climate problem in the current crisis.  Not so very different from our own solutions as it happens.  See excerpt below.  Perhaps this news by Adam Stein (in Gristmill, 03 Mar 2009), will give heart to Irish legislators.  Note especially the ‘give back 80% to consumers’ bit.

….The third implication concerns spending. Auctioned permits will raise a huge bundle of cash. The budget projects about $80 billion dollars per year in carbon revenue. Assuming that about 80% of U.S. carbon emissions fall under the cap, that works out to a price of $14 per ton, which is very much in line with what analysts have been predicting for 2012. Oddly, the budgeted revenue stays constant over time, but this likely just reflects the enormous uncertainty around both prices and the shape of future legislation.

There are no shortage of ideas for what to do with the money, and here also the budget places a stake in the ground. 20% of the funds are slated for “clean energy technologies” (think smart grid, clean energy generation, and energy efficiency) and 80% will be returned to taxpayers in the form of a Making Work Pay tax cut. At a high level, this strikes me as an excellent allocation of the funds, balancing investment in new infrastructure with protections for citizens who will be negatively affected by higher energy prices….

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