LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Senator Barack Obama presented a plan on Monday to decrease the nation’s dependence on foreign oil and fight global warming by creating an auction system requiring power companies and other industries to pay for their pollution. By the year 2020, he said, emissions would be reduced to levels from 1990.
In a speech in New Hampshire, Mr. Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate from Illinois, called for imposing a national cap on carbon emissions, investing $150 billion over 10 years to develop new energy sources and reducing dependence on foreign oil by 35 percent by 2030.
“No business will be allowed to emit any greenhouse gases for free,” Mr. Obama said in Portsmouth, N.H. “Businesses don’t own the sky, the public does, and if we want them to stop polluting it, we have to put a price on all pollution.”
The energy speech was the latest effort by Mr. Obama to cast himself as a critic of how business has been conducted in Washington. Every president since Gerald R. Ford, Mr. Obama argued, has pledged to curb fossil fuel use, but the United States’ dependence on foreign oil has climbed.
He proposed instituting a mandatory “cap and trade” program across the economy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the level recommended by top scientists, a figure that he did not specify Monday. Under his plan, businesses would be required to buy allowances to pollute, which would create financial incentives to limit energy use or reduce emissions.