Gore’s aggressive CO2 reduction proposals to Congress:

Grist (detailed blog) has a summary of what Gore recommends we do as a nation to combat warming. It looks like a substantial and difficult list. The fact that it’s difficult is welcome, because that means these proposals, if enacted, are likely to reduce emissions rather than simply make us feel good about ourselves. More on his meeting with congress can be found in the Washington Post or NYT. Both papers spend some time on Gore’s confrontations with cynics (esp. Sen. Inhofe, R-OK). Inhofe attacked Gore about his “CO2-hypocrisy”, i.e., the energy use at his house being 20x the national average. The lesson for Idaho CAN in Inhofe’s criticism is that we should do our best to practice what we preach, as the cynics will always fixate on any lifestyle inconsistencies.

Anyway, here are Gore’s legislative suggestions:

1. An immediate “carbon freeze” that would cap U.S. CO2 emissions at current levels, followed by a program to generate 90% reductions by 2050.
2. Start a long-term tax shift to reduce payroll taxes and increase taxes on CO2 emissions.
3. Put aside a portion of carbon tax revenues to help low-income people make the transition.
4. Create a strong international treaty by working toward “de facto compliance with Kyoto” and moving up the start date for Kyoto’s successor from 2012 to 2010.
5. Implement a moratorium on construction of new coal-fired power plants that are not compatible with carbon capture and sequestration.
6. Create an “ELECTRANET” — a smart electricity grid that allows individuals and businesses to feed power back in at prevailing market rates.
7. Raise CAFE standards.
8. Set a date for a ban on incandescent light bulbs.
9. Create “Connie Mae,” a carbon-neutral mortgage association, to help defray the upfront costs of energy-efficient building.
10. Have the SEC require disclosure of carbon emissions in corporate reporting, as a relevant “material risk.”


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