Cap & Trade Realities for CO2 Emissions

The looming U.S. Senate debate on legislation to create a cap and trade program to reduce U.S. carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions must consider whether the means to achieve the goals they may establish exist or are likely to exist.

In a new Policy Outlook from the George C. Marshall Institute, Donn Dears, president of TSAugust, argues that proponents of cap and trade assume the technologies and systems needed to reduce CO2 emissions exist when, in fact, they do not. Summarizing the current debate, Dears concludes: “This is where we stand today with respect to cap & trade legislation. Congress is about to adopt legislation without knowing whether we can significantly cut CO2 emissions.”

Dears shows how the options for replacing the energy supplied by fossil fuels for electricity and transportation needs will have difficulty scaling up to meet current and projected demand. He also discusses the challenges associated with establishing the infrastructure needed for a nationwide carbon capture and storage system.

He concludes: “Clearly, we do not yet have the necessary proven technologies or technologies having sufficient scale to dramatically cut CO2 emissions. Forging ahead without the needed technologies will cause severe economic harm by cutting our supply of electricity and reducing America?s standard of living.”

Dears is the author of Carbon Folly an insightful collection of pertinent data on energy and climate policy.  More information is available at  Donn Dears is a retired GE Company executive with extensive experience in power generation, transmission and distribution, and in the industries using this equipment.

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