James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

Cap-and trade? Call me in 2010. Maybe 2011

May 22, 2009 14:07 UTC

I think political analyst Dan Clifton of Strategas, an institutional research firm, has it about right concerning the prospects for a cap-and-trade climate bill passing Congress this year:

We do not believe the cap and trade bill being shepherded through the House Energy and Commerce Committee by Rep. Waxman will be signed into law this year, or even next year. Although the bill is expected to make it through the Energy and Commerce Committee Thursday night, after recess Waxman will begin talks with Ways and Means Chair Rangel, who does not see climate change legislation as a priority and is reportedly not convinced that cap and trade is the best option. We note there are 8 committees with jurisdiction over the bill, including Agriculture, chaired by Rep. Peterson who is insisting on his own mark up and has concerns about the proposal. That being said, with international climate talks slated for through the summer leading up to December’s Copenhagen meeting, it will remain a hot topic through the recess as members defend their positions to voters that in many cases lack clarity on the issue, the costs and the emission permit allocation politics.

Me: For Republicans, this is the ideal scenario. The bill doesn’t pass but it remains alive as an election issue in the 2010 congressional midterm elections.  From my conversations with folks over there, it is clear to me that they think it is a HUGE winner for them. And the Dems might not disagree.

COMMENT

With reference to the above article, the short article below explains the scenario in the Asian Climate Change context.

“Green Energy : A Paradigm Shift in Sustainability”

Green energy is not something new since the discovery of the depletion of the ozone layer and global climate change as a direct impact of green house effect on a worldwide scale.

Various international conventions/agreements on the reduction of green house effect will remain forever on glossy papers if countries around the world are not serious in committing themselves towards real implementation within national boundary.

Political will power, or even real politics for that matter alone, is insufficient in promoting green energy as attested by the economics of reality in both developed and developing countries.

A paradigm shift is needed in forging a new instrument of international co-operation within the wider framework of Free Trade Agreements and joint conviction shared by stakeholders such as the OECD, major banking bodies(i.e. IMF, World bank, ADB) and leading industrial/corporate entities.

……………………………….
Jeong Chun-phuoc
lecturer-in-law
[an an advocate of Competitive & Strategic Environmenting]
Jeongphu@yahoo.com

Posted by JEONG CHUN PHUOC | Report as abusive

China: U.S. climate bill too wimpy

May 22, 2009 13:55 UTC

I will admit that when I read the headline “China Looks for Big Cuts in Emissions” in the WSJ today, I thought the country had radically shifted policy and was joining the cap-and-trade crowd. My bad. The Reuters hed is more accurate: “China tells rich nations to cut emissions by 40 percent.” (Read the story.) I think it is more likely that the U.S. will eventually slap a carbon emissions tafiff on Chinese goods than it will accede to such demands, not that I think the former is too likely either.

Environmentalists: Climate bill won’t work

May 22, 2009 01:23 UTC

This just arrived in my inbox from Friends of the Earth. Here is why the group says it can’t support the Waxman-Markey climate bill:

1) It sets the bar too low. It would reduce pollution, but not enough to save us from catastrophic effects of global warming. 2) Instead of being forced to pay for the transition to clean energy, corporate polluters would receive hundreds of billions of dollars in handouts, and ordinary citizens like you and me would be stuck with the costs. (That’s why Shell Oil and other corporate polluters support the bill.) 3) The bill contains massive “offset” loopholes that would delay its already-too-weak pollution reductions. 4) Despite the recent financial meltdown, the bill allows Wall Street traders to game new carbon markets, creating the potential for wild swings in energy prices that damage our economy.

COMMENT

With reference to the above article, the short article below explains the scenario in the Asian Climate Change context.

“Green Energy : A Paradigm Shift in Sustainability”

Green energy is not something new since the discovery of the depletion of the ozone layer and global climate change as a direct impact of green house effect on a worldwide scale.

Various international conventions/agreements on the reduction of green house effect will remain forever on glossy papers if countries around the world are not serious in committing themselves towards real implementation within national boundary.

Political will power, or even real politics for that matter alone, is insufficient in promoting green energy as attested by the economics of reality in both developed and developing countries.

A paradigm shift is needed in forging a new instrument of international co-operation within the wider framework of Free Trade Agreements and joint conviction shared by stakeholders such as the OECD, major banking bodies(i.e. IMF, World bank, ADB) and leading industrial/corporate entities.

……………………………….
Jeong Chun-phuoc
lecturer-in-law
[an an advocate of Competitive & Strategic Environmenting]
Jeongphu@yahoo.com

Posted by JEONG CHUN PHUOC | Report as abusive

One more reason why cap-and-trade is in trouble

May 21, 2009 17:33 UTC

Some interesting factoids from a new Pew Research poll (bold is mine):

In the new poll, 51% agree that protecting the environment should be given priority even if it causes slower economic growth and some job losses, down from 66% in 2007. At the same time, the share saying that people should be willing to pay higher prices in order to protect the environment has dropped from 60% in 2007 to 49% currently. This represents a 17-year low point on this measure. Surprisingly, declines since 2007 in support for economic sacrifices to protect the environment have been particularly large among young people and political independents.

The public remains broadly supportive of a variety of options for addressing the nation’s energy supply – 82% favor increased funding for research on wind, solar and other alternatives, while 68% say more offshore oil and gas drilling should be permitted. The idea of expanding nuclear energy continues to be more contentious (45% favor/48% oppose); 60% of college graduates favor increased use of nuclear power.

Me: When times are tough, money talks and climate models walk. Indeed, when I chat with Republicans and anti-climate regulation activists, they are almost giddy with how the climate debate is going. Dems, not so much.

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