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Wendy Gordon Headshot

Cap and Trade What?

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When the conversation turns to cap and trade, is your first thought: "Oh, that will never work, it's too complicated?" It's true, it can be harder to get one's arms around than a gas tax or even a carbon tax -- who doesn't get taxes, right? -- but cap and trade is a familiar, and an effective means by which to reduce pollution among regulators and industry.

In the 1990s, the U.S. acid rain cap and trade program achieved 100 percent compliance in reducing sulfur dioxide emissions. In fact, power plants took advantage of the allowance banking provision to reduce SO2 emissions 22 percent (7.3 million tons) below mandated levels for the first phase of the program. And on the global warming front, cap and trade is up and running in 10 states in the northeast and mid-Atlantic, which have pledged to work together to reduce climate altering pollution from regional power plants by 10 percent by 2018.

While driving down pollution, cap and trade will also generate a lot of money for investing in energy efficient programs and clean energy. These investments, in turn, will help to create over 2 million new American jobs in just 2 years.

Cap and Trade is a central feature of the American Clean Energy and Security Act which the House may vote on this week. Please take a minute to tell your representative "vote YES for ACES." Click here for a quick and easy way to send your message. Thanks.

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