Now that the U.S. has officially concluded that greenhouse gasses are harmful to human health, it's time to do something about them. One major hurdle standing in the way of the U.S. implementing carbon cap and trade legislation appears to have been cleared as both the domestic automakers and Michigan's legislature have lifted their opposition and now support for the bill. Why? The Detroit News reports that an agreement has been reached that could see up to $15 billion paid out to the Detroit-based automakers starting in 2012. Yeah, that would do it.

In a so-called cap and trade plan, the federal government would set a limit on the total amount of carbon emissions the U.S. as a whole can produce. The government would then divvy up that figure by issuing permits to various industries. A company that wants or needs to emit more carbon dioxide can either purchase credits at auction or pay fines for surpassing its assigned limit. Under the proposed deal, automakers will receive 3 percent of the revenue generated from both auctions for carbon emissions permits and fines paid by corporations for violating carbon limits. That revenue would drop to 1 percent in 2017.

John Dingell (D-MI) had this to say in a written statement:
"This is a significant achievement for the automotive industry and its workers, as the bill will help fund research, development, implementation and deployment of new, low-carbon technologies and upgrading manufacturing facilities to provide the next generation of green vehicles right here in the United States."
The deal with automakers is just one of several agreements that House Democrats are making to appease various key state representatives and industry heads that may have otherwise opposed the bill. In its latest form, the bill would cap greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 at 17 percent below 2005 levels.

[Source: Detroit News | Image: Clinton Steeds]


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