Given the glaring flaws that have plagued the Obama administrations ability to bring any true change with the Energy Act it has been left sitting in the Senate since last year when the House of Representatives passed it in a bipartisan vote on June 26th, 2009. As a result many have speculated that any possibilities of Cap & Trade being passed into law are now dead, or are they? Some have prognosticated that Cap & Trade will cause a wide array of problems to surface from loss of jobs and higher energy costs to polluting on an unprecedented scale by global companies that can easily afford to pay to do so. There are also those who would state that a carbon tax needs to be implemented along with any cap and trade policies as if one tax of this magnitude would not be enough.
Cap & Trade maybe for all intensive purposes dead in the water until the U.S. Senate actually votes on its passage but it is far from being the only tool in its proponents hands of curbing carbon emissions by applying taxation on the carbon based fuels used in creating energy. It is very likely that in the event of any cap and trade being shot down a carbon tax will very quickly take its place which is in and of itself the same horse painted with shoe polish. Government agencies such as the EPA and others around the world want this tax enacted which if realized would amount to billions of dollars every year but does little to clean up the pollution that has already taken place. Granted, we all would like to see these polluters tared and feathered and ran out of town on a rail because it is our air, our land and our water that is being polluted and our health that is affected by these pollutants but the average person can do little about it.
Cap & Trade got its first start right here in the US back in the 1970′s when fears of acid rain on a global scale were brought to light and then again in the 1990′s over sulfur dioxide which resulted in seeing those emissions cut in half. Now, if used again 20 years later however, cap and trade or carbon taxation while it would drive down the demand for fuels such as coal would also increase the end user costs for energy.This would be political suicide for any party to back unless those tax funds were used to further subsidize grid-tie renewable energy systems for the nations 150 million homeowners. This back and forth trade off in negative effects caused by any form of cap and trade just is not in the public’s best interests as it is a contradiction in terms. Trading off higher costs through this taxation of carbon based fuels and those who use them for even higher costs in energy is not a viable solution and until cap and trade or carbon tax proceeds are used to expand renewable energy systems nationally it seems to be more of a money grab than anything else.
Currently government sponsored renewable energy system incentives are active until 2016 and you can learn more about the incentives available in your area here.