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cap and trade

Nov 04, 2009

Get Ready. Cap and Trade Is Coming

Cap and trade is not going to go away. Seen as a cornerstone of the national movement to cut carbon emissions from greenhouse gases, a cap and trade program is expected to have the greatest impact on manufacturers and supply chain partners but no business or individual will be immune from the drive to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Scientific reports detailing life-threatening scenarios of potential climate disaster and irreparable damage to the planet have spurred President Obama and his team to demand action this year on environmental regulations now moving through Congress.

In June, the U.S. House narrowly passed (219 to 211) the green-energy climate bill HR 2454, referred to by press and public as the Cap and Trade Bill. Heated debate has ensued in the Senate which may or may not bring the matter to a vote before the year ends, despite presidential pressure. Senators, particularly those representing agricultural and coal states, are understandably wary of the potential economic repercussions cap and trade could have on already suffering businesses, particularly manufacturers. Although Congress may drag its feet for another year, most analysts agree that cap and trade will eventually become law.

Savvy businesses are already implementing green programs to curb energy use and switch from gas and diesel-powered equipment to clean energy battery and electric-powered material handling equipment. Even small changes like moving from power-chomping forklifts to green battery-powered motorized carts and powered tugs can add up to a significant plus on your carbon emissions balance sheet. Ergonomically-designed electric material handling equipment like DJ Products’ innovative CartCaddies kills two birds with one stone. They respond to government efforts to reduce carbon emissions and increase worker safety. Win-win! 

Jul 03, 2009

Will Cap-and-Trade Spell Disaster for U.S. Manufacturers?

“Clean Energy Act Could Force Nearly 20 Percent of Manufacturers to Close” screamed the breaking news headline in the July 2, 2009 Special Edition of Manufacturing & Technology eJournal. According to the results of an informal reader survey conducted by the magazine, President Obama’s proposed cap-and-trade energy conservation program “could cause energy costs to skyrocket and fuel more unemployment.”

“More than 17 percent of those who answered [the survey] said they would have to shut down their business because there is no way they could handle the kinds of increases being predicted,” the magazine said about reader comments received on environmental strictures proposed by the Waxman-Markey climate change bill recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. Nearly 1,000 readers responded to the Manufacturing & Technology survey, indicating the volatility of the cap-and-trade issue. Besides shuttering their businesses, readers warned that meeting currently proposed cap-and-trade requirements would cause them to raise prices by as much as 22%, institute layoffs or move to a 4-day work week. “Only nine percent [of survey respondents] said they would do their best to absorb the energy costs increases without making any changes,” the magazine said.

Many fear that cap-and-trade will have a disastrous effect on U.S. manufacturing. Senators in industrial states hard-hit by the recession like Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky are being lobbied to fight the cap-and-trade bill, now under consideration by the U.S. Senate. In an interview with Manufacturing & Technology eJournal, Kentucky’s Republican Senator Jim Bunning criticized the bill, saying, “The legislation is essentially an energy tax hike on small businesses and will raise electricity costs in Kentucky 90% by the year 2035.”

Whatever your personal stance on cap-and-trade, it seems inevitable that growing environmental concerns will spur the eventual passage of this or some similar bill in the not too distant future. Change is ever-present and savvy businessmen will accept and prepare for change. Moving to environmentally-friendly, clean-energy, battery-operated powered carts and movers today will lessen the burden of compliance tomorrow. To find out how DJ Products’ energy-efficient, ergonomically-designed material handling equipment can positively affect your operations, contact a sales engineer today.