The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the value of emissions permits created by a cap on global warming pollution in the United States would range from $50 billion up to $300 billion per year (in 2007 dollars) by 2020. This map shows the range of money available to each state if the funding was apportioned based on population.
Roll over the map to see the range of values of the emissions permits allocated to each state based on its population.
There are many different mechanisms for distributing auction revenue among states, and the point of this exercise is not to suggest the best disbursement mechanism, but to give a sense of the amount of revenue available to Americans if we don’t give this money away for free to polluting industries. Many of the proposals in the U.S. Congress thus far give a large percentage of the emissions permits away to polluters instead of using the money to invest in the transition to a low-carbon economy.
How to Use Auction Revenue to Ensure an Effective, Equitable, and Expeditious Transition to a Clean-Energy Economy
Reduce energy costs for low- and middle-income Americans by providing direct rebates to the lowest income households using mechanisms such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and existing electronic benefit transfer systems and increasing funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and home weatherization programs.
Lower emissions from the transportation sector by investing in mass transportation infrastructure and smart growth; offer incentives to U.S. auto manufacturers to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles and increase production and the availability of alternative low-carbon transportation fuels; dramatically increase vehicle fuel economy beyond the recently established 35 mile per gallon standard by 2020; and give tax credits to consumers for purchasing more fuel-efficient vehicles, including plug-in electric hybrid vehicles powered primarily by electricity.
Improve the efficiency of electricity generation, transmission, and consumption. Work to convert the U.S. electricity grid into a “smart grid” with integrated technology to help improve energy security, encourage distributed generation, and increase efficiency of transmission and energy efficiency in buildings and appliances through incentives and upgraded standards.
Increase the production of renewable electricity by passing a long-term extension of the production and investment tax credits for wind, solar, geothermal, and other renewable energy sources. This will help these low-carbon energy sources achieve commercial scale so they can compete on a level playing field with traditional generation.
Dramatically increase funding for federal research into low-carbon technology, as well as the demonstration and deployment of new technologies.
Establish green job training and job transition programs to ensure the availability of the skilled workforce needed to implement these strategies.
Dedicate funding for global warming preparedness and domestic and international adaptation to the current and future effects of global warming.