RESOURCES: Cap and Trade - A Primer

In our country’s strive towards a clean-energy economy, the efficient reduction of greenhouse gas emissions will be on the main focus. The direct and indirect costs of these reductions (to industries & consumers) can be significantly minimized through a market mechanism. And the benefits can be maximized! For this reason, Congress will be debating and voting in the coming weeks on a groundbreaking legislation that will most probably lead to national emission limits and tradable emission permits (cap and trade).

The implications for industries, businesses and consumers will be enormous.

Cap and trade has emerged as the leading climate policy in the United States and thus the Sightline Institute has released a Cap and Trade Primer which can be your one-stop-shop for understanding and evaluating this important policy. The newly updated primer offers insight into the latest actions at the federal level like the Waxman-Markey bill rapidly moving through Congress but it also explains what cap and trade is, how it works, and how it can protect families across the country.

Included in the primer:

  • What is cap and trade?
    How the system works and which features are in there to protect consumers.
  • What should I know about cap and trade?
    Read about the important aspects, like auctioned permits and limited offsets, that can make or break a cap-and-trade system.
  • What to do with revenue?
    Cap and dividend, cap and invest, cap and caulk? Understand the options for spending permit revenue.
  • How does Waxman-Markey measure up?
    Find out about current bills moving through Congress and how to size them up.

You can download the full report by clicking on Cap and Trade 101: A Climate Policy Primer or the executive summary by clicking on Cap and Trade 101: Federal Climate Policy in Two Pages.