Friday, April 24, 2009

Cap and Trade is a Tax - And It's A Great Big One

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2009/04/06/adirondack-mountain-high-new-attack-on-western-climate-initiative-uses-new-york-to-stand-in-for-colorado/

Democracy Lover said...

John Dingell (D GM, Ford,Chrysler) is one of the last people I would take as an authority on the reduction of carbon emissions.

Cap and trade is probably the best politically viable solution, although it is far from the best solution. Gore's revenue-neutral carbon tax isn't so hot either. We have to substantially reduce carbon emissions in the shortest time frame we can. That means making the use of carbon-based fuels as unattractive as possible while spending as much as we can on alternative fuel technologies, alternative transportation methods, and encouraging conservation.

We could, as some suggest, just ignore the clear scientific evidence of rapidly increasing human caused climate change, or we can get serious about making sure this planet is habitable for our children and grandchildren.

Cameron said...

I'm trying really hard to see in your comment a denial of cap and trade being a huge tax, but I don't.

Democracy Lover said...

Polluters today simply socialize the costs of their pollution. They spew crap into the air and water and spend a few million on expensive lawyers to avoid the weak regulators and citizen lawsuits, but the real cost of their emissions is borne by the public.

We need to recognize the real cost of energy and force suppliers to bear that cost and pass it along to consumers. That's not a tax, that's a removal of government subsidies and interference in the market.

Cameron said...

I fail to understand how a government instituted cost increase is classified as removing government interference.

And I still don't see any denial of a cap and trade system being a huge cost increase.

Democracy Lover said...

Government interferes in the market now by subsidizing oil and coal companies, giving them special tax breaks, using the military to prop up governments of oil producing nations, and weakening regulation so they won't have to take responsibility for their pollution.

If the government stopped giving the industry a free ride, that would cause a cost increase, but that's not what cap and trade will do unfortunately. If your company pollutes and is unable or unwilling to stop, then they will have to buy credits from more responsible companies. That will make their products more expensive and the products of their more environmentally responsible competitors less expensive. If consumers see their price increased, they can switch to another supplier. That's the free market.

Cap and trade isn't a tax and does not necessarily mean price increases for consumers, but it also isn't going to take care of our environmental problems quickly enough.