Policy Options for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

December 2, 2009
10:33 AM
“Today the committee will hear testimony on policy options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Over the last two months, the committee has held several hearings on global climate change policy, most of which specifically investigated the impacts of cap-and-trade programs on the energy sector and consumers.
“These hearings, I think, have been a useful in educating Members of the committee and to engage in a dialogue about the important components of sound climate policy.
“In many of the hearings, we have heard a number of alternative policies to reducing greenhouse gas emissions mentioned that have been cited as either more, or less, desirable than cap-and-trade.
“I have been a long-time supporter of putting in place a cap-and-trade mechanism to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  I believe that its preferable to many of the alternatives, but I also understand it is valuable to understand the pros and cons of other policy options that may have the ability to achieve the same level of reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. 
“This hearing evolved as some Members of the Committee, including Sen. Murkowski, asked us to take a step back and engage in a more general discussion to evaluate the pros and cons of those various policy options.
“The options that will be discussed today include cap-and-trade, carbon taxes, direct regulation, sector-specific approaches and technological innovation.  It’s important to note that these policies are not mutually exclusive.  In fact, it will more than likely be necessary to rely on a suite of these policies to ensure that we are effective in addressing global warming.”
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