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Posted at 12:13 PM ET, 02/14/2011

Vanishing cap and trade in Obama's 2012 budget

By Steven Mufson

In President Obama's new budget plan, the idea of comprehensive climate legislation appears to have disappeared into thin air

The phrase cap and trade -- the touchstone of the climate legislation battles over the past two years -- does not appear in the 216-page budget summary. Nor is there any mention of climate legislation or its impact. In fiscal year 2011, the administration included a line in its revenue projections for climate change legislation, but it left it blank because it said that climate change laws would be deficit neutral after using revenues to pay for investments in new technology and to offset higher energy prices for "vulnerable families."

There are still references to "climate" and the budget says the president remains committed to cutting greenhouse emissions by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. But the items in the budget are smaller and piecemeal. There are a few million dollars in the Agriculture Department budget for climate research, a nod toward climate science in the Commerce Department, money for promoting electric vehicles and more efficient buildings in the Energy Department budget, and $73 million in the Interior budget to permit renewable energy projects on federal land.

To some extent, the change in language is both a recognition of the changed political dynamics in Washington, and an effort to head off a GOP assault on the president's clean energy priorities. House Republicans have already unveiled priorities that would slash the Environmental Protection Agency's annual budget, and cut some of Obama's top programs aimed at curbing the nation's carbon output.

By Steven Mufson  | February 14, 2011; 12:13 PM ET
 
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Comments

Maybe he has some common sense after all.
Common sense says that when the sun comes up, it increases the number of energy photons which increases the number of absorptions by GHGs which increases the warming. THEN when the sun goes down every night, it decreases the number of energy photons, which decreases the Greenhouse effect and it gets cooler, IN SPITE OF man adding more CO2. Maybe it is the number of energy photons and NOT the number of greenhouse gases that causes warming?
Then again, a CO2 molecule only "traps" an energy photon for a few microseconds before it releases the energy back to the air and space. My pet rock traps the energy for several hours making the peak daily temperature several hours after the peak daily input of energy at noon. Maybe my pet rock is a Greenhouse gas also. How about cap & trade for pet rocks?
The reason for global warming and cooling is because of the variations in incoming energy, which MAN can NOT control, NOT because of variations in the number of Greenhouse gases. People are so Gullible, especially politicians.

Posted by: JDoddsGW | February 14, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm frankly relieved that a fundamentally-flawed cap and trade system seems to be off the table at this point. Of course, we still must do everything we can to stem the tide of global climate change and the majority of leading scientists and economists agree that a revenue-neutral carbon tax which is more straightforward and transparent than cap and trade, avoids the evasion and market manipulation of cap and trade, reduces emissions, incentivizes green R&D and returns the revenue to people is the best option. Moreover, members from both sides of the aisle have every reason to support a carbon tax when offset by payroll or income tax reductions or coupled with a rebate to consumers. Moreover, when framed in terms of deficit reduction and/or national security, it seems to me that it's a no brainer. It's a win for the environment and a win for the economy.

Posted by: SallyVCrockett | February 15, 2011 2:21 PM | Report abuse

That is just like Obama. Change the name of something the people oppose (I assume most people are smart enough to realize this would be the last straw required to break our economy's back. C&T Supporters give the # at a "low" cost of $3,000 per person per year.)

After the rename, then they try and force the exact same junk through under a different name.


I don't know about you, but spending a minimum of 3 grand per year sounds like a horrible Idea. keep in mind that cost number is likely intentionally kept inaccurately low to get this stuff through.

Kinda like Obama "care", claiming to cost far less than we now know it will cost more. For the first decade of O/C, we pay for 10 years, but only are provided 6 years of benefits. thant makes the per year cost of the next decade look lower. (they also ran the O/C numbers assuming medicare would be drastically cut, which they haven't done/will not do)

I got the $3,000 per person number from the NYT, a news organization known for their extensive right wing propaganda machine! (sarcasm)

Posted by: CarbonBlackDetailing | February 19, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

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