It's really a simple concept. It has worked very well in the past. Each major polluter is given a limit to the amount of CO2 it can emit. They look at what is being emitted, what can be done about it and set an immediate limit. Over time, that limit is reduced until a certain goal is reached. It's really quite fair and reasonable way to enact federal regulations on pollutants.
The really nice deal to this is that some companies are going to have an easier time of controlling their CO2 emissions than others, so what they can do is sell some of their "carbon credits" to other companies. So say a company has a limit of 1500 tons of CO2 and they only emit 1000 tons. They can sell the extra 500 tons to some other company that can't do as good a job of limiting emissions. So a company that is emitting 2000 tons with a 1500 ton limit can buy the other company's 500 tons and still be within required amounts.
I say "fuck em." Tell them the level they need to go to, tell them when they need to be there and shut them down if they don't meet those goals. . . but I'm not in charge which is probably a good thing.
See, it really is a policy that works WITH the corporate polluters to help them come into compliance with regulations.
Do the corporations see it that way? No, they never do.
Since the Clean Air and Clean Water acts back in the late 60s, they have fought and resisted every single piece of legislation to come down the legislative pike. They have consistently used the same arguments. . . "it's going to ruin corporate America." "It's going to cost too much and bankrupt corporation causing us to loose all these jobs."
Fun fact: Following all major legislation on pollution, America has enjoyed periods of (sometimes unprecedented) growth and prosperity.
During the past decade when corporate America lived in a wonderland of tax break and huge pushing back of environmental regulations by a corporate controlled administration, we experienced unprecedented job loss and the destruction of the middle class.
Now the greedy corporate power mongers are at it again. This time they employ their legions of teabaggers to scream about the evils of "Cap and trade" which they call "cap and tax." "It will destroy jobs" and "it will ruin corporations."
Yaaaawn. We've heard this so many times before and each and every time we've heard it, it has turned out to be untrue and nothing but greed inspired lies.
This time they've got the proles doing their screaming at teabagging parties across America.
I wonder, when is the democratic party going to raise THIER voices and tell America how ridiculous these teabaggers are with their lies and shallow minded ideas planted by the corporate greed machine? I'm waiting. . . and waiting, . . . still waiting.