Folks, the idea of trading emission credits between companies has been around for nearly 20 years in this country, and McCain has been a proponent for quite some time. And sure, the expansion of the program could help curb some greenhouse gases, but this is McCain’s big idea?

From his speech yesterday…

“The United States will lead and will lead with a different approach — an approach that speaks to the interests and obligations of every nation.”

McCain proposed a cap-and-trade system, which sets a limit of total greenhouse gas emissions but allows companies to sell unused greenhouse gas emission credits to other firms which have exceeded their quota.

His plan would seek to return emissions to 2005 levels by 2012, and a return to 1990 levels by 2020. It foresees a reduction of 60 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

And yeah, that’s really about it. Because if you go to the Environment section on McCain’s website, you find 5 paragraphs about how it’s important to protect it. Seriously. His speech is ALL about cap and trade.

On the other hand, if you go to Obama’s website he has 18 different parts to his plan, with cap and trade being the first. He also proposes an immediate tax on corporations in the form of an auction of these credits. McCain would simply give them away.

This is another example where the Obama plan makes more sense. Because if you auction off those credits, the corporations who know they’ll need them will most likely buy them first. And the money raised from those auctions would immediately go to help pay for investment in green tech.

Long story short…this better not be all McCain’s got. Sure, it’s better than the Bush administration’s near total disregard for climate change, but when the bar is so low as to be buried in the ground, it doesn’t help to simply unearth it.

Science/Environment McCain's Big Idea On Environment Is Cap-And-Trade?