Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
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October 2009
Contents

Major News: EPA May Do Its Job!
DEP Biologist: Agency Chief Huffmans Testimony to Congress Was Ill Informed

Thinking About Your Legacy: An Open Letter from Dr. Ken Hechler

Reflecting on EPAs Announcement
JOBS in the Coalfields, the Right Way
Families in Mingo Co. Sue Over Flooding
Asking the Highest Court in the Land to Hear Our Case
Dear Friends at OVEC
Lindytown - Threats, Dead Horses and Shattered Dreams As the Draglines Creep Ever Closer
Lindytown - From Nice Little Mountain Town to Virtual Ghost Town
EPA Moves to Block WVs Largest MTR Mining Permit
Corps Approves Controversial Permit Despite EPAs Objections
The Trail of Tears - History Is Repeating Itself in WV
Policy Efforts on Family Cemetery Protection Issues
Join the Cemetery Protection Group And Help Find Long-Term Solutions
Awareness is Where Its At
Please Pray for Webster County
Cook Family Cemeteries: Ancestors No Longer Rest In Peace Due to Mountaintop Removal Mining
Coal Slurry: New York Times Nails Clean Water Act Crimes (Many) and Punishment (None)
Victory! Public Water Lines Finally Coming to Prenter
Goodbye Patricia, Welcome Stephanie! - New Organizer Joins SSP Effort
WVU Studying Effects of Coal Slurry Injection on Health
Working to Reduce Coal Prep Plant Air Pollution
Six Southern WV Communities to Benefit from EPA Grant
Judge Thornsbury Disqualified from Presiding in Slurry Injection Case
Coal Country - the movie: Film Debuts To Packed Crowd After Concerns Almost Cancel Showing
Help End MTR and Help Coal Country Have a Party!
OVEC: Power With!
What Happens In Valleys Is As Important As What Happens On Mountain Peaks
Plundering Appalachia - The Book, Is Here!
Chemicals and Their Dangers Force People From Kanawha Valley
Clean Elections - Saving WV From Future Scandals
Why Manchin and Co. Dont Care About Health in the Coalfields
Eating For OVEC Keeps Raising $$$
Carbon Tax: Our ACES in the Hole for Real Change
Report: Global Warming Causes 300,000 Deaths A Year, Toll to Increase
Remembering Conley Branch - May It Always Be In My Heart
United Against MTR:
Red Bandanas, Dreadlocks, Clean-Cut, Old Folks and Young
TV News Fails to Cover Mountaintop Removal Well, Or At All
Nominations for OSM Chief
University Divesting of Massey Stock, Others May Follow
Toxic Legislation: Selenium at the Legislature; OVEC Appeal to EPA


For viewing the PDF version of the newsletter

 
Winds of Change Newsletter, October 2009     See sidebar for table of contents

Carbon Tax: Our ACES in the Hole for Real Change

by Mel Tyree

The current version of the American Clean Energy Security Act (ACES) must not be signed into law. At the very least, any proposed environmental legislation should do no harm. That would not be the case with the ACES if the cap and trade scheme remains in the bill.

In theory, a cap and trade scheme would put a high enough price on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to encourage energy efficiency and investment in clean, renewable energy. Cap and trade would do this by setting emission limits (a cap) on GHGs on industry.

Industries that reduce their GHG emissions below these caps could sell their unused allowances in the form of permits or carbon credits to industries that exceeded their caps. Putting a high price on excess GHG emissions would encourage polluters to clean up their acts due to financial incentives.

If cap and trade is enacted by the United States and continues to be the primary mechanism to reduce GHG emissions by the rest of the world, our planet will be doomed to irreversible catastrophic climate change.

For over a decade, the countries that signed the Kyoto Protocol have used the cap and trade system.

The vast majority of those countries didnt achieve even reduced mild goals due to exclusions, unregulated carbon offsets that failed and other loopholes. Other countries just ignored the emission goals because there was no enforcement under Kyoto.

In fact, according to J. Houghtons 2004, Global Warming: The Complete Briefing, the countries whose

GHG emissions fell by the greatest margins those of the former Soviet Union did so because of economic collapse and not through compliance with policy.

Other dangers of a cap and trade scheme include: (1) Unpredictable price volatility placed on the value of carbon by Wall Street speculators, (2) Overhead costs and complexities, including inviting lobbyists to delay implementation and (3) Potential corruption through investment in sham technologies that dont reduce GHG emissions and investment in fraudulent carbon offset schemes.

A better mechanism for putting a price on GHG emissions and reversing climate change would be a carbon tax with a 100 percent refund.

A carbon tax would be assessed on industry at the point of carbon production (a mine or oil wellhead).

Consumers would be taxed a set amount on each ton of carbon dioxide they emitted per year.

A 100 percent carbon tax refund would mitigate most of the financial burden of increased carbon costs to the consumer.

For example, if an individual paid $3,000 a year in carbon taxes, theyd get that $3,000 returned to them at the end of the year or even on a monthly basis.

A carbon tax would be simpler to administrate. Plus, it would eliminate the potential for greedy Wall Street speculators to game the system by artificially manipulating the value of carbon credits.

Cap and trade has had a 10-year record of failure. Its time to try a solution that has a chance of succeeding.

 

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