What is the Best Way to Reduce Carbon Emissions?

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), co-chair of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus, introduced the Cap and Dividend Act of 2009 on April 1. The Cap and Dividend Act would auction 100 percent of the carbon permits, and auction proceeds would return to consumers in a monthly dividend. Every lawful U.S. resident with a social security card would receive a monthly dividend. The Act sets emissions reduction targets at 25 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and 85 percent below 2005 levels by 2050.

“The strength of cap and dividend lies in its simplicity and durability. All permits are sold at auction, and all proceeds are given back to the American people. As the price of energy rises, the monthly dividends will keep American consumers whole,” Van Hollen said.

The chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s energy subcommittee, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) is not sure about a cap and trade program. A cap and trade program, like a cap and dividend program also sets emissions reduction targets and auctions off carbon permits. However, a cap and trade program allows companies to sell permits after buying them in an auction. It creates an emissions trading market.

“I have serious concerns about how a cap-and-trade program might allow Wall Street to distort a carbon market for its own profits,” Cantwell said in an interview. 

A recently released report by the Friends of the Earth (FOE) titled, Subprime Carbon, declared that a U.S. carbon trading market could create the same types of problems that subprime mortgages did. The author, Michelle Chan, referred the problems a carbon market could create as “subprime carbon.” Subprime carbon would likely come from “shoddy carbon offset credits,” according to the report.

Most cap and trade bills do not contain adequate carbon market regulations which would create a “potentially huge regulatory gap.” The report also expressed concern about the cap and trade congressional bills because they do not focus enough on regulating secondary carbon markets “which will be dominated by speculators and will dwarf the primary trading markets.”

“It’s imperative that Congress move quickly to put solutions in place, but it’s also important to be careful and do this the right way from the start,” Chan said. “If we aren’t careful, we could end up creating a massive, poorly regulated derivatives market that not only poses risks to the broader financial markets, but also undermines efforts to save the climate.”


LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

Lisa C.
Lisa C.7 years ago

P.S. I realize that the dollar amounts for the Heartland Institute donations date back a couple of years, but that is the latest data that I could find for Heartland. They did not disclose which "Foundations" made donations to the Climate Conference. Therefore, viewing past contributors reveals a trend that I cannot ignore.

Lisa C.
Lisa C.7 years ago

Dennis, I looked into your "2009 International Conference of Climate Change". I discovered that the institute that put on the production was funded by the following, among others:
* ExxonMobil (1998-2006): $6,199,000
* Koch Foundations (1986-2006): $4,438,920
* Scaife Foundations (1985-2006): $36,868,640

Furthermore, they discounted admission by 20% for anyone who would sign their climate petition. At over $700, I guess it was a tempting offer. Seriously, you have to check your facts. Just because someone's "facts" make you feel better, doesn't mean that they are correct.

Let me ask you this: are you willing to live (or force the world's children to live) with the consequences of your inaction if you are wrong? Are you waiting to see the final proof? Ignoring the overwhelming evidence is like pointing a six shooter with five bullets in it at our children, then right before you pull the trigger, you say "Don't worry, I'm pretty sure this is the chamber without the bullet."

On the other hand, if we do switch to green energy, and it turns out that the other 99% of scientists were wrong, then what is the harm? Our children will live in a cleaner, sustainable world? You know, that's a chance I am willing to take, and the odds are on my side.

Pierre Champagne
Pierre Champagne7 years ago



Pratik Mehta
Pratik Mehta7 years ago

One of the easiest and good ways to actually help reduce global warming


James Dunn
James Dunn7 years ago

The best way to ACTIVELY CONTROL carbon emissions is to create a space based solar energy collection system.


Carbon emissions occur both "naturally" and by human influence. We MUST have a method to actively control emissions and global weather to prevent further extinction events.

Space based solar energy collection systems not only provide abundant clean energy, it provides a method of promoting economic growth for every country in the world.

Oil will continue to be used for products other than fuel. Plastics and lubricants will continue to be needed. But the employees of the oil companies will transition into positions related to global solar energy systems.

There will be a shortage of engineers as infrastructure of emerging new cities evolve.

We MUST ACTIVELY CONTROL global climate change, not just human influence, but natural influences as well.

We are over due for a large asteroid strike. We are over due for a super volcano eruption. We are existing on borrowed time.

Unless we use our intellect to create a sustainable future, we are dooming our children and other decendants to misery and potential extinction.

Think I'm exagerating? Look at the facts, project the consequences, determine the benefits of space based energy systems, and use "Result Management" tools to make future predictions.

We can predict the future.

Pierre Champagne
Pierre Champagne7 years ago


There is a better option than both cap-and-trade and cap-and-dividend. It is cap and restructure. The strategy (outlined at http://www.wavesofthefuture.net -- lots of new material just added) would be more efficient and powerful than cap-and-trade.

It would use caps and fix the economic infrastructure instead of dealing with symptoms. It is based on a revenue-neutral system. That is, is would cost nothing.

There is a comparison between it and cap-and-trade at the website above.

GinaMarie Cheeseman
Past Member 7 years ago

Whether you believe climate change is real or not, pollution is REAL. I live in one of the most polluted places in the U.S., the San Joaquin Valley of California. Cleaning up the air will improve the health of Americans. If you do not believe pollution causes health problems, come visit here and stay awhile.