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Cap and Trade and the Budget

Chris Mooney makes an interesting point about the $15 billion the 2010 budget assumes a cap-and-trade system to battle greenhouse emissions will deliver to the Treasury next year:

So now, if you oppose the coming cap and trade bill, you're also messing with the president's attempt to cut the deficit, invest in renewable energy, and give money back to taxpayers. How's that for smart politics?

Moreover, if the cap-and-trade system is bringing in revenue, that means by definition that there has to be a significant initial auctioning off of the emissions permits. They can't be simply given away to industry. That, in itself, is also a big statement, because many companies who support cap and trade in theory also want many or most of the permits gratis.