Cap and Trade Bill Passes Both House and Senate

April fool 2011 :-)

After years, if not decades of bickering, both the U.S. House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate have finally passed a bill to cap and trade carbon emissions.  But with a House led by Republican majority, and a Senate where Democrats are in control, how did the Cap and Trade finally make it through?  What does this mean for us as producers and/or consumers of carbon?

The Carbon Cap and Trade Act, (nicknamed the CCAT Act) started life in the House as H.R. 401.BS. It was stalled by House Republicans because the party viewed it as an additional tax on the producers of the nation.

A parallel bill, S.401.BS, the Senate’s version of CCAT, flew trough the Democratically controlled Senate.

Over the last 2 months, both versions of the the CCAT Act were reconciled over a bi-partisan committee.  A concession was made by Democrats.  Rather than the Carbon Cap and Trade taking part at the point of production of goods and services, Carbon Cap and Trade would take part at the point of consumption.

Strangely enough, this agreement was pushed forward by Senator Jim Inhofe, an adamant denier of global warming.  To show his personal pledge towards lowering his carbon footprint, Inhofe stated he will now start driving a Prius.

Republicans further upped the challenge to show their fanatical support for CCAT, advocating the use of mass public transportation for all public officials, both at the Capitol and their home districts.

With the compromises from both parties, the House and Senate merged H.R.401.BS and S.401.BS into H.R. 401.AF, where it passed both legislatures with majority vote.

The American average carbon output is about 20 tons per year.  Compare that to the world average of about 4.25 metric tons per year.  The CCAT bill starts us off slow, allotting 18 tons per year per person in 2012, dwindling down to 9 tons per year per person in 5 years, to 5 tons per year in 10 years.

The rational for the gradual carbon reduction is that politicians suggested that Americans did not want this to interfere too much with our way of life.  (Check your carbon footprint from one of these sources.)

What does this mean for you and me?  It means that the amount of goods and services we buy and/or utilize will be capped by the amount of carbon the particular good and service takes up.  Let’s say with all your driving, eating, tv watching, internet surfing, clothing, etc… must be limited to 18 tons per year, lowering every year for the next 10 years.

What if you need more credits?  The good news (or bad news, depending on how you look at it) is that if we need or use more carbon, we can buy carbon credits from our neighbors or other folks whose lifestyle utilizes little carbon.  It can actually pay to have a minimum impact on the planet!

The bill also creates the Department of Carbon Management (DCM) to manage the process of carbon permitting and regulation from the Federal level.

President Obama is expected to sign this bill into law this afternoon.

What do you think?  Is this a good move to limit carbon output?  Is pushing the cap and trade down to the consumer level, as opposed to the producer level, the best compromise?  How will this bill impact your life and lifestyle?

Jonathan Mariano is an MBA candidate with the Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco, CA. His interests include the convergence between lean & green and pursuing free-market based sustainable solutions.

13 responses

  1. This bill is taking away our freedom and lets the goverment control the people. It is also letting people like Al Gore to make billions of dollars off the biggest scam of all time call GLOBAL WARMING. Those people get rich by putting fear into the hearts of others. They will tell you some truths with many lies to get what they want, which is power and money. Its all greed. Yes I know the the climate is changing, it changes all the time, by natural causes like the sun, earths orbit around the sun, etc. Did you know that the average temperature around the world is actually falling. You people need to wake up. Co2 is a good thing, plants love it. Did you know there are more trees in the world today than in the 16th century when humans were cutting them down to fuel the fires to manufacturer steal. There are many more examples if you go and find them. Educate yourselves instead of lookin down a narrow path.
    This bill is also going to take away much needed funds for better technology which makes our lives better. Without technology, humans will go stagnant and die. That’s what this bill is going to do.

    1. Another layer of bureaucracy, more usurpation of our constitutional rights and another impediment making it more difficult for us to compete in the global economy. The number of people living at or below the poverty level has been increasing and it will be exacerbated when this legislation is implemented.   Greed and power is the genesis of Cap and Trade and we are easy prey for this scam.   Wake up America.  

  2. nick aster? talk about a human robot? are you brainwashed? apparantly so . you watch too much boob tube instead of investigating facts for yourself.there is no manmade global warming period. hitler said…..if you tell a big enough lie long enough people will believe it. it’s all about taking away our freedoms for the bigger go back and stop believing everything our government tells you. your brainwashed!

  3. Rush Limbaugh was the first person that I heard say there were more trees in the middle ages than there are in existence now, and I always wondered where he found the global statistics to support his statement. Did someone count them and write down the number?

  4. Just another way to cap the US trade by capping our freedom to be competitive with the rest of the world with the addition cost this will bring upon the manufacture in this country.

  5. Vincent Wygrys has it figured out.  I don’t know about us having more trees now than 16th century –  since we log them for manufacturing various products.  I wrote my thesis in college about global warming, and my conclusion was that the temperature changes are cyclical and definately not man made.  The studies using the deep sea core samples was one of the simpler ways that showed the cycles of the various changes in climate.

    My opinion is that man is a very arrogant bunch to think that we have the power to change the tempuratures of the whole planet.  I agree that we abuse the hell out of it, but the power manipulate it’s climate?  All of this hype is just another way for the rich to get richer.

    You have noticed that now that it’s been disproven, the buzz word has gone from Global Warming to Climate Change.  Gore had to do that since we’ve had some of the worst snow storms recorded throughout history.

  6. Wow. I’m impressed. Enalis, Vincent and Cheis–it’s an April Fool’s joke. Way to get all hot and bothered and fly off the handle. Have fun at the next Tea Party rally, dummies. 

    1. Aren’t you smart Scott……no facts, just insults because you don’t like what Enalls and others say. By the way, we’re used to your insulting arrogant game. You’ve learned well from Bill Maher and Obama’s minions.

    2. Cooney looks awfully ridiculous calling someone a dummy before reading their comment. Let me explain genius, the comment was about the global warming/climate change farce. Nowhere does it state the belief in the April Fools article about legislation on cap and trade. Your slobbering reply did make me LOL at you though. :-) *pats Scott gently on the head

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