“Powering a Green Economy” by Center for American Progress
March 20, 2009, 1:00am

As he promised during his campaign, President Obama has laid out a new direction on energy policy with his long-term budget proposal, making polluters pay to reduce global warming pollution, build a green economy, and deliver tax credits to 95 percent of working families. This plan has come under withering attack by conservatives, who have focused on the cap-and-trade carbon market component. After former House speaker Newt Gingrich told the Conservative Political Action Conference that cap and trade is a “code word” for an “energy tax,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called it a “light switch tax” and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) said it was a “code for increasing taxes and killing American jobs.” Moderate Democratic senators have also expressed concern: Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) worries cap and trade “could have a negative impact on our economy by raising utility rates on consumers,” Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) is “against forcing petrochemical companies” to “bear the brunt of new costs,” and Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) “said that it would be a ‘distant hope’ to expect the climate change plan to pass unless it includes help for industries that would be hit hard by limits on carbon emission production.” In reality, Obama’s proposal would directly increase or leave untouched the incomes of most Americans when the system begins in 2012, powering a clean job engine that makes work — instead of pollution — pay.

From The Progress Report