If you don’t want to read my whole blow-by-blow of Gore’s testimony to the House, here’s a summary of his ten legislative recommendations.
- An immediate "carbon freeze" that would cap U.S. CO2 emissions at current levels, followed by a program to generate 90% reductions by 2050.
- Start a long-term tax shift to reduce payroll taxes and increase taxes on CO2 emissions.
- Put aside a portion of carbon tax revenues to help low-income people make the transition.
- Create a strong international treaty by working toward "de facto compliance with Kyoto" and moving up the start date for Kyoto’s successor from 2012 to 2010.
- Implement a moratorium on construction of new coal-fired power plants that are not compatible with carbon capture and sequestration.
- Create an "ELECTRANET" — a smart electricity grid that allows individuals and businesses to feed power back in at prevailing market rates.
- Raise CAFE standards.
- Set a date for a ban on incandescent light bulbs.
- Create "Connie Mae," a carbon-neutral mortgage association, to help defray the upfront costs of energy-efficient building.
- Have the SEC require disclosure of carbon emissions in corporate reporting, as a relevant "material risk."
There’s a lot to chew over here. My initial reaction is that Gore is going for the whole enchilada. He’s pushing the envelope. These are radical proposals.
To me, that indicates almost beyond reasonable doubt that Gore is not running for president.
As a bonus, here’s video of Gore’s opening statement:
Get Grist in your inbox