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For anyone who doubted that president-elect Barack Obama would push for carbon-cap legislation immediately upon entering office, he provided reassurance today with an address to a meeting of state governors in Los Angeles.

Both business spokesmen and politicians have opined that a carbon cap and trade system — which places a limit on the greenhouse gases that can be released by industry — could or should be put off while the country recovers from recession. But in his address, Obama gave pride of placement to cap and trade, saying that his administration would kick off with such a system.

“[We] will start with a federal cap and trade system. We’ll establish strong annual targets that set us on a course to reduce emissions to their 1990 levels by 2020, and reduce them a further 80 percent by 2050,” Obama said, confirming previous promises.

Along with yearly federal investment goals, it looks like the president-elect plans to keep climate change at the forefront, despite all the other issues pressing for attention — the economy included.

The full structure of a new cap and trade system has yet to be seen. However, Obama also took the opportunity today to name the members of his Energy Policy Transition Team, which will likely begin hammering out details immediately.


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