Policy Documents

President Barack Obama's Cap-and-Trade Plan

Zonia M. Pino –
March 27, 2009

The Obama administration, with overwhelming support from the majority party in Congress, is promoting a carbon emissions cap-and-trade plan that could spell disaster for the nation--especially given the United States's current economic crisis.

The costs of such legislation would be staggering. Jason Furman, deputy director of the White House National Economic Council, recently told Senate Energy Committee staff the plan would raise "two to three times" the budget's original $646 billion revenue estimate, or roughly between $1.3 trillion and $1.9 trillion between fiscal years 2012 and 2019.

Cap-and-trade assigns a specific carbon emissions allowance to utility companies and manufacturing facilities. Companies/facilities that produced more emissions than allowed would be required to purchase allowances from companies/facilities that didn't use all of theirs. The cost of such purchases would be passed on to American consumers.