Cap-and-trade is not the way to control carbon emissions.

"Cap and trade" proposals would . . .

  • Place a limitation on the level of CO2 emissions
  • Sell permits to businesses that would allow them to emit CO2 in amounts equal to the cap
  • Allow businesses to trade and/or sell these permits to each other -- allegedly creating a market to encourage innovations that would reduce CO2 emissions
  • Use the proceeds from the sale of these permits to create a vast new research bureaucracy designed to help corporations cope with the cap

As a practical matter, "cap and trade" proposals will result in. . .

  • An increase in your electricity and gasoline bills
  • New tools for politicians to control the economy, hand out favors, and punish enemies
  • Greater levels of inefficient "research," just like the Energy Department has done
  • Almost no improvement in reducing overall CO-2 emissions (if the example of Europe is a reliable guide)

Even if you accept that human CO2 emissions are causing problematic global warming, a government run "cap and trade" system is not the way to deal with this problem. There is a better way. Here are some points to consider . . .


  • Fossil fuels create massive amounts of air pollution, quite apart from CO2.
  • This pollution causes health problems, none of which are reflected in the price of fossil fuels.
  • Fossil fuels enjoy a "free ride" in terms of pollution costs that make it hard for alternative sources of energy to compete.
  • Air pollution is a form of trespass, and a case can certainly be made that dealing with such trespasses is a legitimate function of government.

The federal government could do this by . . .

  • Taxing fossil fuels
  • Cutting other taxes so that your overall financial burden would remain unchanged

Your energy costs would rise, but your taxes would fall by an equal amount. Doing this would . . .

  • Eliminate the justification for a "cap and trade" boondoggle
  • Make fossil fuels reflect more of their true costs
  • Provide an incentive for everyone to reduce their use of fossil fuels
  • Make other sources of energy cost competitive
  • Limit the financial impact on you and the economy
  • Help reduce air pollution, including CO2 emissions

We know that most Americans are concerned about pollution and the environment, and for those who feel this way, a carbon tax combined with tax cuts in other areas would be a better approach. But THIS CAMPAIGN is about stopping the "cap and trade" boondoggle, because if you really care about the environment, this proposal has only symbolic value.

Please use the form below to send your Senators a message opposing the so-called "Climate Security Act" and all other "cap and trade" schemes.

Use the form at right to send your elected representatives a letter about this issue. It's easy!

  • Your position will be counted by each Congressional office,
  • Will educate the Congressional staffer who reads it,
  • May be passed up the chain of command,
  • May receive a reply (many DC Downsizers get them). If you receive such a letter, please share it with us at Comments@DownsizeDC.org.

Send a letter to Congress

We provide the first few words of the letter so that Congressional offices will see the most important point right at the start, and so that no one can hijack our system for another purpose. Here's the part we provide . . .

I think the cap and trade legislation is bad policy.
   
Your ZIP Code is required so we can direct your letter to your representatives in Congress.