One last desperate attempt to save cap and trade

Robert Waldmann

Ezra Klein shows a graph and writes

What you’re 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.

I comment
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.