On Friday, June 26, 2009 the U. S. House of Representatives narrowly passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, which some are calling the “Cap and Trade Bill.”
So, what this means is that there will be a cap on how much pollution such as coal-fired power plants and other industrial complexes can emit. If they go above this limit, then they will have to buy credits from other less polluting companies.
Critics of cap and trade use the sky is falling scare tactics of saying that consumer electricity costs will rise by $4,000 per year. Other, more level headed and reasoned types put the increase at around $175 per year for the average family and this won’t kick in until around the year 2020.
While companies such as the coal-fired power plants will be negatively impacted by cap and trade, the benefits will go towards other companies such as renewable energy companies that sell solar, wind, geothermal, biodiesel and other low CO2 fuels.
In fact, the point of cap and trade is to transition from a fossil fuel based economy dependent upon foreign energy into a nation that is energy independent. The transition from coal, oil and natural gas to solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric and other less polluting companies and devices will not be without initial pain.
But, the positives are cleaner air, cleaner environment, less dependence upon foreign hostile nations, more jobs in the renewable energy sector and supporting industries and basically keeping the green for ourselves both environmentally and financially.