Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Obama's Climate Change Speech at United Nations

Obama doesn't specifically outline policy in his United Nations speech. Obama states he will work with G20 nations to limit greenhouse emissions. Obama mentions the cap and trade bill that is moving at a snail's pace in the Senate. A better alternative to cap and trade is greater regulation on companies that cause excessive greenhouse emissions. The current cap and trade bill will not cut greenhouse gases enough.

Economist Martin Feldstein explains it would be cheaper for corporations to buy permits than to switch over the greener technology. Corporations that go over approved CO2 levels would pass on the cost to cumsumers. Current power generators create CO2 at record levels. Harsher laws, fines and regulation are needed to make corporations greener. The pro-business Obama is unlikely to back such a bill. The Waxman/Markey bill American Clean Energy and Security Act will hurt consumers and do little to curb CO2 emissions.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen's bill the Cap and Dividend Act of 2009 directly addresses the cost of cap and trade. The bill will require the Treasury Department to create the Healthy Climate Trust Fund. The fund will handle fines and expenses. The program will have a website and the Treasury Secretary must report to Congress on it's progress. There is oversight and a mechanism to handle cap and trade finances. Van Hollen's bill needs to be part of the discussion.

Transcript of Obama's speech.

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