(AFP) – Feb 26, 2009
WASHINGTON (AFP) — President Barack Obama will propose raising new revenue through a greenhouse gas cap and emissions trading scheme when he unveils his first budget on Thursday, US media reported.
The budget he will present assumes an emissions trading system will generate revenue by 2012, the Washington Post reported.
Fifteen billion dollars of the money generated would be directed to clean-energy projects, the Post said, citing sources familiar with the document.
Another 60 billion would go to tax credits for lower- and middle-income working families, and the rest to help families, small businesses and communities deal with higher energy costs, the paper reported.
The Post cited testimony to Congress in September by Peter Orszag, currently Obama's budget director, estimating that revenue from a cap-and-trade scheme could reach 112 billion dollars by 2012.
According to Orszag, who at the time was director of the Congressional Budget Office, the program -- which would force companies to buy permits if they exceed pollution emission limits -- could generate between 50 and 300 billion dollars a year by 2020.
The New York Times also reported that the projected revenues would subsidize research and development of alternative energy sources.
The recently passed economic stimulus package already includes billions of dollars to help develop a national electricity grid to distribute energy from alternative energy sources such as wind farms.
Carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gasses are the main culprits in causing global warming.
According to the Times, which cites unnamed administration officials, Obama's budget will also propose reducing the tax benefit of itemizing deductions, a move that would mostly affect wealthy Americans.
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