Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Program on Energy and Sustainable Development Stanford University


March 10, 2009 - In the News

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David G. Victor, Director at PESD

David Victor discusses spending plan and global warming on NPR

Appeared in National Public Radio -- Morning Edition, March 4, 2009

David Victor is interviewed by Richard Harris of NPR's Morning Edition in a segment about how President Obama intends to address both global warming and tax cuts in his budget plan:

Harris: The government sets a cap, or a limit, on the amount of carbon dioxide that can be emitted, and the government then sells permits that give companies the right to pollute.

Victor: That's the whole idea behind a market scheme is you make carbon more expensive, and that forces people to find new ways to use less of it, to switch to new technologies and to change their behavior.


Harris: Many of those fossil fuel businesses have tremendous clout on Capitol Hill and aren't about to sit idly by. Last summer, when the Senate debated a cap-and-trade proposal, lawmakers ended up making deals with those companies and promised them a cut of the revenue from the cap and trade bills they were writing.

Victor: One of the bills that was being considered in the Senate envisioned trillions of dollars of revenue that would be reallocated to various purposes.

Harris: And David Victor from Stanford says even then, the bills fell far short of passage. This time around, the Obama administration isn't offering industry any of that money. It's mostly designated for the middle class tax cut. So Victor says the budget proposal as it stands isn't crafted to satisfy the real politics of Capitol Hill.

Victor: This budget should be viewed as the opening bid in a very complicated negotiation, not only about the broader federal budget, but also about what we're going to do about global warming. And I don't think we're anywhere near closure on this issue. It could take a long time.

Full Story: Spending Plan Tackles Tax Cuts, Global Warming on NPR

Topics: Cap and trade mechanism | Climate change | Negotiation