Dr. James Hansen, a leading climatologist, thinks cap-and-trade won’t work, at least from an environmental standpoint. While many manufacturers are against a cap-and-trade system for the damage it could cause to their manufacturing capacity, Dr. Hansen points out that with carbon offsets, a tree planted in one place means a tree cut down somewhere else, and a puff of pollution saved from one plant is another puff some another.
Instead, Dr. Hansen proposes a flat tax on oil, gas, and coal — whether it’s mined here in the U.S. or imported from abroad — with the money going to the American public. This extra cash would allow consumers to use money to weatherize their homes, for example, which would have a greater impact on the environment than slowing down manufacturers.
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