Sunday, March 1, 2009

Bringing Down the Cost of Energy or Raising Economic Distress?

The article entitled, "Obama's Greenhouse Gas Gamble," discusses President Obama's proposal of reducing the emission of greenhouse gases that are linked to global warming. There is an estimated amount of $645 billion in emissions trading revenue over the next 10 years. Much of this will be paid by oil, electric power, and industries that are heavy contributors of gases that are blamed for global warming, such as carbon dioxide.

Supporters of Obama's cap-and-trade plan claim that the benefits of this may outweigh the costs of pursuing this goal. Scientists say that by steadily decreasing emissions, the risk of climate catastrophe will be reduced. The White House does not only allocate money for reduction costs. Obama plans to set aside $15 billion a year from the sale of emissions permits to further advance the development of new sources of clean energy.

However, many argue that this program may just put the nation in more economic distress. By reducing emissions, people who are dependent on coal will now become more dependent on electricity. Thomas Williams of Duke Energy has predicted that "electricity rates would jump as much as 40% in states that are reliant on coal for much of their power."

Obama hopes to have the program up and running by 2012. What is the nation more inclined to do: pay more money every year in order to prevent the advancement of global warming or stick to sources of energy like coal and contribute to a climate catastrophe? In my opinion, even though it would add more weight to the nation's economy, it would certainly be more beneficial in the long run, not only for the United States, but for the rest of the world arena.

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