Thursday, May 7, 2009

Carbon Cap and Invest in Ohio


By Wendy Patton

Ohio understands economic change. This is a state where producers of screw caps evolve into safety system architects, where coal miners retrain for nursing careers and where biomed blooms next to blast furnaces. Our economic history has forced us to seek opportunity. This is our competitive advantage.

Congress is now considering a clean energy proposal that would dramatically change domestic energy policy. Under the plan, revenues would be raised to clean up American manufacturing processes; insulate homes, commercial buildings and factories; produce more wind and solar energy in places like Cleveland and Toledo; and produce more fuel-efficient vehicles. This is the kind of opportunity Ohio needs to capitalize on our competitive advantage.

The clean energy proposal includes a system of carbon cap and trade to reduce carbon dioxide and other pollutants that cause global warming. Carbon cap and trade systems are already in place in parts of the U.S. and in Europe. The system places a value on the right to pollute. The cap limits the amount of pollutants that can be emitted, and the trade allows the market to set the price for rights (allowances) for emissions. The revenues can fund the transition to the new energy economy.