- Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the level recommended by top scientists to avoid calamitous impacts. [Obama will require carbon emissions to be “80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050” through cap & trade (with 100% allowance auction!) starting with a mandate “of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.”]
- Invest $150 billion over the next ten years to develop and deploy climate friendly energy supplies, protect our existing manufacturing base and create millions of new jobs.
- Dramatically improve energy efficiency to reduce energy intensity of our economy by 50 percent by 2030.
- Reduce our dependence on foreign oil and reduce oil consumption overall by at least 35 percent, or 10 million barrels of oil, by 2030
- Make the U.S. a leader in the global effort to combat climate change by leading a new international global warming partnership.
- 100% auction of cap-and-trade credits. This is a home run, a real act of standard-setting boldness (the kind that Obama always promises but rarely delivers). The green community should immediately use it to push Clinton and Edwards into making the same commitment, insuring that it's the new baseline for any cap-and-trade program.
- Smart investment. The revenue from auctions will be considerable, up to $50 billion a year, and Obama's smart about putting it to work, dividing it between energy R&D, protections for low-income workers, and market deployment of existing clean tech.
- A focus on efficiency. Clearly Obama gets that efficiency is the easiest route to emission reductions, and he's got a set of thoughtful, detailed initiatives to make it work.
This proposal is similar in many respects to my Gas Tax + Grand Challenges in Renewable Energy Bold Idea.
I like his idea to create a Clean Tech Deployment VC Fund.
The Clean Technologies Deployment Venture Capital Fund will be modeled on the highly-successful Central Intelligence Agency In-Q-Tel program. In-Q-Tel is a non-profit, independently-managed venture capital fund led by seasoned venture capital professionals to develop new intelligence technologies for the CIA. The first five years of In-Q-Tel funding led to 22 new technologies being used in 40 government programs.While the proposal is good, I wonder if Obama is elected and this were to go to congress, just what kind of legislation would get passed and whether the parts I like about this would make it through.