Published on February 11th, 2010 | by Susan Kraemer
Obama Gives Cap and Trade Class: Media Gets an F in Comprehension
At a town hall meeting in New Hampshire last week, the president tried to teach America about how cap and trade works and why we should use it to reduce greenhouse gases. He started by reminding us of how cap and trade has already worked to reduce SOx and NOx pollution. The job of the Fourth Estate (WSJ) (NYT) (NPR) is to tell us what our elected leaders say. Here’s the transcript. What do you think this says?
“And that’s — that’s, by the way, remember acid rain? That’s how that got solved, was basically what happened — the Clean Air Act slapped a price on sulfur emissions. And what ended up happening was all these companies who were saying this was going to be a jobs killer, et cetera – – they figured it out”.
The president continued…
“They figured it out a lot cheaper than anybody expected. And it turns out now that our trees are okay up here in New Hampshire. That’s a good thing. So we should take a lesson from the past and not be afraid of the future.”
“The most controversial aspects of the energy debate that we’ve been having — the House passed an energy bill and people complained about, well, there’s this cap and trade thing. And you just mentioned, let’s do the fun stuff before we do the hard stuff. The only thing I would say about it is this: We may be able to separate these things out. And it’s conceivable that that’s where the Senate ends up…”
“…but the concept of incentivizing clean energy so that it’s the cheaper, more effective kind of energy is one that is proven to work and is actually a market-based approach. A lot of times, people just respond to incentives“.
“And no matter how good the technology is, the fact of the matter is if you’re not factoring in the soot that’s being put in the atmosphere, coal is going to be cheaper for a very long time. For the average industry, the average company, we can make huge progress on solar, we can make huge progress on wind, but the unit costs — energy costs that you get from those technologies relative to coal are still going to be pretty substantial. They’re going to get better, but it might take 20-30-40 years of technology to get better”.
“And so the question then is: Does it make sense for us to start pricing in the fact that this thing is really bad for the environment? And if we do, then can we do it in a way that doesn’t involve some big bureaucracy in a control and command system, but just says, look, we’re just going to — there’s going to be a price to pollution. And then everybody can adapt and decide which are the — which are the best energies.”
Now that is word for word what the president said.
Class; honestly. What did you think the president said?
Source: Whitehouse.gov transcript