Obama’s new budget confirmed to contain revenues from an emissions cap-and-trade scheme

Publish date: February 23, 2009

The budget that Barack Obama will outline tonight in an address to US congress will include revenues from an emissions cap and trade systems, White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs confirmed to reporters today.

Gibbs was responding to a recent post on the White House website indicating that Obama plans to implement an "economy-wide cap-and-trade programme to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.”

"That’s true," Gibbs told reporters during a White House briefing earlier today when asked whether a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gases would be in place in time for revenues to be generated by 2012.

The Democratic president has already made bold moves he promised toward fighting global climate change. Six days into his presidency, he gave states carte blanche to set their own automobile emissions standards and has ordered more fuel efficient vehicles getting at least 35 miles to the gallon be the industry standard by 2012.

He further cut loose $50 billion in his $787 billion stimulus package singed last week to inject into green energy programmes throughout the country, from propping up renewable energy supply manufacturers and producers to revamping the United States electrical grid to bring wind and solar power from areas where it is in abundance to areas where it is needed.

His stimulus package also includes $8 million for CCS demonstation plants in various US states that have been craving such programmes.

He has also given the Environmental Protection Agency the nod to issue a finding on whether carbon dioxide constitutes a pollutant, something the EPA was ordered to do under the Bush administration, but which Bush dragged his feet in ordering.

During his presidential campaign Obama laid out plans for a trading system that would set limits on greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and allow that would allow factories and industries that pollute less to trade permits with those that pollute more.

The European Union is anxious for the United States to develop a trading system to couple with its own established scheme.

Obama has not released any details about his plans for such a system since taking office, and how much of the budget will be accounted for by an emissions cap-and-trade system will not go public until Obama sends his budget to Congress on Thursday.  

Obama has made clear, however, that investments in renewable energy would be part of the economic recovery process.

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