Kotoo vs. Fossil Fuel Power Plants is r/WallStreetBets vs. Hedge Fund Short Sellers.
If you've been watching the news last week surrounding stocks like Gamestop and AMC, you've witnessed a robinhood style story play out in less than a week. Retail investors started buying the stock so that hedge funds who had borrowed and sold the stock would have to buy it back at a much higher price, losing lots of money they planned to gain when the companies eventually succumbed to the pandemic economy. Things escalated so quickly that institutions that enable individuals to buy stock halted buys to ensure their financial solvency. In the mean time, hedge funds kept trading and were able to recover some of their losses. The fallout has highlighted the uneven playing field that exists when lots of money is involved and it's looking like regulation is on the distant horizon.
Kotoo aims to achieve the same (but less rapid) result for coal and natural gas power plants. By enabling many individuals to buy the pollution permits fossil fuel power plants need to operate their dirty machinery, we can block out their ability to produce emissions and make room for the clean technologies that are ready to be adopted. Rather than having fossil fuel powerplants profit while ruining the lives of everyone on Earth through extreme weather events, we can financially incentivize them to stop operating old machinery in favor of new renewable energy that'll ultimately lower everyone's electricity costs and improve their health.
The more permits we buy, the faster this occurs. Since there are only a fixed amount of permits available, the sooner we retire them, the sooner we have a clean energy economy (don't worry - there are safety systems to prevent electricity blackouts - join us in our Discord Forum for more information). And since powerplants are the largest contributor to people's carbon footprint (2-3x your driving and flying emissions), this is the most important step to effective environmental action.
Kotoo estimates that for every 50,000 permits (1 permit = 1 ton of CO2 equivalent) we buy, a coal power plant stops operating permanently. That's 3000 Americans going carbon neutral. Since the permits' revenue funds construction of renewable energy and energy efficient windows, they also reduce electricity and gas consumption by an additional 10,000 tons over the next 20 years.
Why's this needed? I vote.
You're right - voting is a critical piece of taking care of the climate. And the results of that are just starting to show with Biden's latest climate related executive action blitz (article in work! We're most excited about the removal of fossil fuel subsidies, halt of fossil fuel extraction on federal lands, and converting all government vehicles to electric cars).
But the dirty secret of the American political system is that corporations hold the reigns. This isn't a conspiracy theory - there are two main reasons:
- Corporations are the loudest, most consistent, and powerful voice in the room because they pay people to spend time talking to politicians than you and I.
- Politicians vote on numerous issues during their tenure so it can be tough for people to present a united front on a single issue when it comes time to vote. Combine that with large advertising budgets funded by companies and politicians can control their messaging such that it's hard to know exactly what they've stood for in the past.
It's easy to feel powerless in the climate fight since the problems identified above can be extrapolated to figuring out which companies are good and bad but all is not lost.
The good news is that several states in the northeast have built a system that is singularly focused on power plants. Since power plants are the source of pollution for most companies and products, this system is an easy and centralized place to cut your pollution right at the source. All while funding renewable energy, lowering people's energy bills, and making your voice heard in a way that all companies understand - their bottom line. Kotoo makes access to buying these pollution permits easy (we had to go find a fax machine) and keeps tabs on the market so you can have confidence it's the most efficient use of your money.
Can't governments just raise the permit level?
It's certainly possible but unlikely. Mostly because it would require 11 states to agree. There's 10 years of history showing that historically the coalition of state governments has reduced the number available (and does 3% each year by design). In fact, they adjusted the total cap down when they weren't used due to NG/coal fuel switching.
If this goes completely nuts, then yes, the government would likely make more permits but the permit proceeds are still funding renewable energy so having it go nuts also spells doom for coal powerplants. It's like having coal powerplants match your investment in utility scale renewable energy. But so long as all the permits don't instantly, then the addition of renewable energy combats the need for the permits keeping costs in check.
Here is the history of emissions cap and the total emissions - we just need to help push down the blue dotted line faster:
Join us for free - in two minutes, we'll calculate a detailed history of last year's carbon footprint for free. We'll show you the impact of going vegan, switching to an electric car, and shopping sustainability. And we'll take coal power plants offline if you decide that's the best option for you. In the meantime, we'll continue educating you with articles and getting more businesses and individuals involved in cutting off the pollution permits for dirty powerplants.