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Politics / Issues

Is Cap and Trade a Republican Idea? The PolitiFact Ruling

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politifact.com

With the federal Environmental Protection Agency's  new targets for reducing carbon emissions just being released, the debate over how to reduce atmosphere-heating carbon is on -- again.

Last month, Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio kicked up a lot of dust when he said that he does not believe human activity is causing dramatic changes to our climate the way scientists are portraying it.

Rubio also said he didn't believe that the laws they propose will do anything but destroy our economy.

But,  Florida congresswoman -- and Democratic National Committee chair -- Debbie Wasserman Schultz disagreed with Rubio on the science, and said a Republican-conceived idea could put laws in place to help solve the emissions problem.

She was talking about about cap and trade.

During a May speech at Daemen College in upstate New York, Wasserman Schultz said, "Cap and trade legislation "was originally a Republican idea."

Is the idea that the government set carbon limits for individual companies and then allows those companies to buy and sell their carbon permits as needed a Republican idea?

"We rated that one mostly true," said John Gillin of PolitiFact Florida. "There's a long history of Republican presidents and Republican legislators supporting this idea of using flexibility to meet limits on pollution. In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan used a cap and trade system to phase out leaded gasoline, for example. And then George Herbert Walker Bush back in 1989 proposed cap and trade to cut sulfur dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants because they were causing acid rain. It's been around for a little while."