One last desperate attempt to save cap and trade
Ezra Klein shows a graph and writes
seeing there[will see if you click this link] is a projection for how our energy usage would change after 20 years of a Waxman-Markey-like cap-and-trade bill. As you can see, transportation — which is probably what most Americans think would be affected — would hardly change at all. The reason is that internal-combustion engines aren’t very carbon-inefficient. We’ve spent so much time regulating car emissions that we’ve actually done a pretty good job increasing efficiency.
Klein’s idea that people imagine cap and trade will affect transportation a lot is very interesting. I’m not sure you are right, but if you are, then I see a deal.
Cap, trade, and cut the gasoline tax. That is have some of the cap and trade revenue go to the highway trust fund so the cost of gasoline stays the same (or falls).
This sounds crazy. It is the last in the series of sacrificing goals of environmentalists to demonstrate that we really really care about cap and trade and you can bash tree huggers while voting for cap and trade*. It will make environmentalists scream with rage. Jane Hamsher will demand a filibuster. That’s exactly what we need. Make it the US power and cut the price of gas bill.
The situation is desperate. It might be time for one crazy insane political gambit appealing to the ignorant. When someone shouted to Adlai Stevenson “every thinking man is for you” he replied “That’s not enough, I need a majority.” There is a majority for cap and trade, but the 21st century version is “that’s not enough I need 60 votes in the Senate.” and that takes uniting the forces of knowledge and ignorance. Klein provides the knowledge and I’ll figure out how to appeal to the ignorant.
OK now I live in Italy and I think the US gasoline tax is insanely low. I’m a US citizen and reflect on the folly of my countrypeople as I watch the Euros run up faster than the liters. The idea of *cutting* the Us gasoline tax makes my head spin. But a disfunctional polity gotta do what a disfunctional polity gotta do.
Dear commenters whose nicknames I forget but I think one was CoRev. When I had schemes to save the public option, you said I was pathetically refusing to face the fact that it was doomed. You told me so. You were right. Please feel free to tell me so again. I’m sure you will be right again, and I will note that you told me so and you were right when the final proof is available (probably soon).
*Increased offshore drilling was the old trade. That was such horrible policy that it can’t come to the aid of politics. Increased subsidies for nuclear energy are pure hippy bashing (odd that the Republican position is that the government should meddle with the market with subsidies, there is no limit to their hypocrisy).
update: Formatting corrected. I forgot to block indent the quote.
I’m all for doing something significant to reduce carbon emissions, but I’m at a point these days where I view anything for which Goldman Sachs lobbies as being distinctly against my interests and the interests of society as a whole. Since GS is lobbying for cap and trade, I’m against it (although the presumption is rebuttable).
What about requiring oil and coal companies to actually pay a reasonable price for extracting our resources? Or imposing something like a VAT that is based on cost imposed instead of the value added? Why do we have to create another secondary market for Wall Street to manipulate, to everybody else’s detriment?
It’s true, Americans are batshit crazy about the price of gasoline (Tom Scharpling does a hilarious bit about it: “When gas was really expensive I thought Bush was doing a bad job, but now that it’s gone back down I think he’s doing alright.”) But people are also cognitively efficient (dumb and lazy) so they’re fixed on nominal prices. So if you want to make gas more expensive just halve the price of everything else. I’m sure the WSJ editorial board would get behind slashing wages by 50%.
I’m afraid I got lost trying to tell the irony from the other stuff.
cap and trade is probably a bad idea. gives wall street another bubble to blow.
a straight gas tax would help pay for the externals, and maybe reduce gas consumption.
the gas car is NOT efficient. an electric car is twice as efficient counting all line losses…in the same service. but an electric can also be built for slow traffic and be twice as twice as efficient as a gas car.
and if ezra klein is the same person who said the payroll tax is a jobs killing tax, he is an idiot.
Robert, consider yourself notified. You are wrong again!
It is forever amazing the persistence of this CAGW (C stands for catastrophic) meme. It has been advanced upon two fronts: 1) scientific and 2) political. The science has been found wanting. In the 07 IPCC AR4 Report, buried within was a 16 factor analysis of the world understanding of climate. Only one element was well understood, 2-3 partially understood, and the remainder much less so. The bulk were on the bottom, not understood. That’s the science we are relying on to potentially devastate our economic competitive stance.
The whole political front is just plain collapsing. This winter’s Copenhagen and Spring’s Mexico City summits being just two examples where leaders were unable to come to an agreement. That was soon after the Climategate relaease and followed by the findings of the CC leaders conflicts of interestrs.
The EU carbon trading scheme has been found to be rife with fraud, and the EU assignment of Carbon Credits was so totally inefficient (similar to what we are proposing) to be ineffective. Oz’s C&T Bill has been so badly received that it looks to bringing down Rudd’s Govt.
So those still believing this shonky science and worse legislative response, good onya! At least you are showing perseverence.
What amazes me is the failure to recognize the warts that are obvious if you just look across the ocean to see the EU’s experience. Economically, scientifically, poltically and even environmentally this CAGW movement has been a near disaster. But our librul contingent still chooses to follow down that path.
Robert, a homework assignment. Show us the “historical” evidence that warming was ever bad for us. Hint to save some time, our histrory shows most rapid advancements for man were during warm periods, and the inverse happened during colder periods.
You are right, cap and trade is crap. A global tax on co2 use paid to the United Nations to finance developmend aid and a standing United Nations army would be a lot better.
But you see, paranoia about an evil world government are even more popular than Goldman Sachs conspiracy theories. So that doesnt work.
[I really think the plan above would be much better, just like less radical tax plans, Goldman will sure make money from cap and trade, its just in this sad right wing world, even cap and trade is a move in the right direction]
and yet gas prices are 3 dollars a gallon. when the gas tax was first proposed it was less than two dollars. so here we are paying a gas tax.. to the gas companies.
your history is a bit bad. mankind did not even appear until temperatures cooled off enough.
i probably agree with you about cap and trade, but your science is, i am afraid, “shonky.”
Dale, Minoan Warm Periond , Roman WP, Medieval WP, all were warmer than today. They are in near pre-history and history.
Care to cite your source for mankind and the temps cooling off comment? Are you now claiming that mankind is an artifact of cooling and not evolution? You do believe in evolution don’t you?
Cobertly $3 a gallon is nothing. I pay about 1.5 Euros a liter which is … hmm …lot fewer dollars now that the Euro has tanked oh about $ 6.60 a gallon. Plus I’m old enough to remember when gas cost 30 cents a gallon. Your $2 to $3 doesn’t impress me at all you young whippersnapper.
I’m an idiot too as I would like to make the payroll tax progressive and thing that taxing low wages (equally the employer and the employee share) is job killing. I’d say the evidence from the Earned income tax credit supports Klein’s view which I share.
I don’t think cap and trade would be significantly worse than a carbon tax. Sure the price of the permit would bounce around some, but it is stable enough to make planning possible over here. I note that Goldman Sachs doesn’t seem to be making a killing on cap and trade. I don’t see why one more country with cap and trade would change things completely for Goldman Sachs even if it is huge country. I note cap and trade with auctioned permits is an automatic stabilizer.
A gas tax would have a small effect on global warming. It isherd to get people to consume less gasoline. It is easy to get electric power companies to use more natural gas and less coal. That’s the low hanging fruit and you seem willing to leave it hanging there.
CoRev, what coberly is presumably referring to is that the entire existence of H. sapiens, and particularly during the periods when civilizations have existed, has been during a relatively cool and stable period for climate (compared to what we know of the climate through Earth’s history). Can’t comment on the political stuff, but you don’t know what you’re talking about for the science.