How should emission credits be distributed under a climate change cap-and-trade program? President Obama's budget would require companies to buy federal permits in order to continue emitting carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Hardest hit would be coal-fired power plants, which produce electricity for half of the U.S. population.
But industry groups oppose Obama's proposal to auction off all of the permits. They argue that emission allowances should be distributed for free -- at least initially -- to coal plants and other companies that emit global warming pollution. Free permits are needed, they say, to ease the expense of adopting cleaner technologies. Who's right?
-- Margaret Kriz, NationalJournal.com