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CLEAR Act delivers, study says

By Juliet Eilperin

The cap-and-dividend law drafted by Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) will spur green energy investment while avoiding regional disparities, according to a new study by the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law.

The senators' CLEAR Act would cap the nation's overall level of greenhouse gas emissions, auction off all the allowances for emitting greenhouse gases and then return 75 percent of the federal revenues to taxpayers, while investing 25 percent of the take into green technology. A CLEAR Act analysis by NYU Law School's Institute for Policy Integrity found the measure would create new economic opprtunities in the U.S. job market and would not have the same regional disparities as other climate proposals.

Michael Livermore, the institute's executive director, said investments in activities such as installing solar panels and making homes more efficient will aid the construction industry.

"These jobs will offer relatively high wages in industries that are experiencing overcapacity and unemployment. The economic incentives in the CLEAR Act will begin to mop up some of the slack in the market," Livermore said in a statement. "Presently unemployed construction workers will find more opportunities as green investment kicks in."

A per-capita dividend, the study found, would help smooth regional and economic differences because it would make up a larger share of poor Americans' total income. And regional disparities are not as severe when you take indirect energy consumption into account.


Juliet Eilperin

 |  April 12, 2010; 7:00 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Re: McKDave | April 12, 2010 1:33 PM

"The evidence for global climate change and our role in it in overwhelming, so denial is simply folly. And the long-term cost of inaction is likely to be incredibly high if not devastating."

Repeating over and over again the AGW GHG mantra that the evidence of human cause is overwhelming does not make it true. The climate has varied a lot over time, and today's variations are nothing extra-ordinary except in the never-never land occupied by climate models and tree ring proxies. Anyone who can read a history book knows that it was warmer many times in the past than it is now. 1930's we had thermometers. Medieval Warming Period we have actual records in Norway, Scotland, England.

The long term cost "may" be a lot if the world continues to warm, but it has warmed before and we managed to deal with it. The world has also cooled before, and mankind is far less able to adapt to an ice age than a fraction of one degree of warmth over the next fifty years.

Regardless of your faith in the AGW GHG believers and their models, no material change is likely to be made in the earth's consumption of fossil fuels until and unless you can get the leaders of China, India,
Brazil, etc. to become believers. As it stands now, their belief is indicated by their willingness to do absolutely nothing unless the changes are fully funded by the taxpayers in the US and Europe. Since there are actually no practical alternatives to coal fired power plants in most of the world, and no alternatives to gas/diesel motor power, you will get the chance to see whether the AGW GHG beliefs have any basis in fact.

Since the 'science' was published by folks who refuse to release their source data, computations, and methods, any reasonable skeptic is going to reject the 'science' for what it is: religious/power based politics.

Posted by: AGWsceptic99 | April 12, 2010 7:15 PM
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Market-based solutions like cap-and-trade, which have been extraordinarily effective in bring down overall smokestack emissions for power plants in the US, are clearly the most efficient way to achieve a cleaner environment. Republicans recently criticized cap-and-trade as a method given, which is stunning to me. What would a conservative not like about a solution that allows the free market to determine how to allocate the resources most efficiently? The evidence for global climate change and our role in it in overwhelming, so denial is simply folly. And the long-term cost of inaction is likely to be incredibly high if not devastating. So we need action now to rapidly to reduce carbon emissions. This isn't a conservative or liberal issue. It's a human survival issue and we're all in the same lifeboat (planet). Folks better get on board fast or future generations will curse us for our short-sighted, self-centered lack of action. In my view, the proposal doesn't move us far enough quickly enough, but I'll take "half a loaf" as they say in government speak.

Posted by: McKDave | April 12, 2010 1:33 PM
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