Today’s Calamity: A Pollution Reduction Bill?

Katie Brown /

Cap and Trade Calamities

Well, that depends on what your definition of pollution is.

As Senators Boxer and Kerry unveil their cap and trade bill, John Kerry’s recent pitch to the American public is yet another example of how mainstream environmentalists have sought to change the definition of pollution. As Kerry explained last week, the bill is not a “‘cap and trade’ proposal but a ‘pollution reduction’ bill. I don’t know what ‘cap and trade’ means. I don’t think the average American does,’ Kerry said. ‘This is not a cap-and-trade bill, it’s a pollution reduction bill.’” To make this point clear, in the summary of the bill, Kerry and Boxer removed the phrase “cap and trade” and replaced it with “Pollution Reduction and Investment.”

Kerry’s statement points to the recent shift in environmental rhetoric which is less concerned about pollution being linked to smog and toxins in the air and water, and more concerned with what they believe to be the biggest problem: carbon. This new-found definition of pollution has permeated environmental rhetoric and has been heavily employed by the Obama administration.