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Testimony: Robert Greenstein on “Cap, Auction, and Trade: Auctions and Revenue Recycling Under Carbon Cap and Trade” Before the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming

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Publication Date: January 2008

Publisher(s): Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (Washington, D.C.)

Author(s): Robert Greenstein

Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Topic: Environment (Environmental policy)
Social conditions (Public welfare and social services)

Keywords: Economic projections; Income diversity; Sustainable development; Environmental policy

Type: Report


Congress can develop climate change policy that is environmentally and economically sound and fiscally responsible, treats low-income families equitably, and avoids increases in poverty and hardship.  To achieve these objectives, however, the policy will have to be well designed.  This means generating sufficient resources to address the requirements and challenges of sound climate-change policy and mitigating the impact on vulnerable populations, especially people with low incomes.   If Congress decides to adopt a cap-and-trade approach, it will be essential to auction off most or all of the emission allowances, and to devote an adequate share of the proceeds to assisting low- and moderate-income consumers.