Duke Energy has a concise discussion of some aspects of the debate over cap and trade of carbon dioxide.  As they describe it, power companies need to do something to reduce carbon dioxide emissions (that is, at least, “We all agree we need climate change legislation” …).

They go on to discuss their preference for emissions permits that are allocated, rather than auctioned.   According to their analysis (which has no actual numbers here) auctioning will lead to a rapid, disproportionate increase in power costs in areas that rely mainly on coal.  They indicate that these areas are the least able to afford that increase.

Clearly, there will be no overnight fix, and we are going to have to pay for it.  It  seems to me that a system that will rapidly incentivize people to insulate and reduce power consumption is best.  People don’t respond unless they actually feel it in some way.  And a rapid plan will help get people back to work, insulating and building energy efficient homes and structures, paying taxes, and helping create new power production businesses.