Weatherdem's Weblog

Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy

Presidential Climate Action Plan; Fastracks; Carbon Taxes

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Prior to the election, the Center for American Progress released a condensed version of their Presidential Climate Action Plan.  In the works for two years, the plan presents to the new President-elect a pathway toward building a 21st century economy that exerts less influence on the climate system.  The full plan will be presented to the President-elect soon.

In more dated news, development of the NorthWest FasTracks line (from Denver to Longmont) could hit a snag.  With budgets tightening at every level of government, planners don’t know if appropriate federal funds will be available next year to continue efforts toward the line.  If the money doesn’t come through, the line could be scaled back or not be built at all.  A more firm picture should emerge next spring after a series of public meetings and once availability of funds becomes clearer.

In order to keep future global average temperatures 2C higher than today (instead of the likely 6C), a carbon tax equal to $180/ton might have to be implemented.  Current carbon trading in EU systems put the price at $23/ton.  The true cost of burning carbon-based fossil fuels will have to be introduced to the marketplace.  The sooner that happens, the cheaper our response will be.

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