James Pethokoukis

Problem with cap-and-trade is substance, not style

March 11, 2010

Washington is obsessed with optics and messaging. Indeed, U.S. proponents of limiting carbon emissions hope rebranding their “cap-and-trade” proposal as “pollution reduction” will boost the flagging proposal on Capitol Hill. But the real problem is the product, not the packaging. There are far more politically feasible and economically effective ways of dealing with climate change.

Expanders vs. Restrainers

December 15, 2009

I actually agree with this greenie op-ed the UK’s Guardian, though the author and I are on different sides:

EPA carbon ruling creates an even bigger ‘uncertainty tax’ for business

December 7, 2009

Call it the Uncertainty Tax. I mean, it is not enough that the American private sector has to deal with the mercurial state of healthcare, financial and tax reform, now it has to calculate the likelihood and impact of  the Obama administration unilaterally imposing draconian carbon rules? Even the EPA calls such efforts inefficient and economically disruptive. A few other thoughts:

The Michigan economic example

October 7, 2009

Both California and Michigan are turning into powerful economic examples of what not to do. Here is a bit on Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s green job push:

$10 trillion for clean energy? Maybe a bit overambitious

October 6, 2009

Working for the International Energy Agency must be hoot. Where else can you recommend a $10 trillion investment and kinda-sorta be taken seriously? From the WSJ:

The cap-and-trade endgame on Capitol Hill

September 30, 2009

The great Dan Clifton of Strategas Research hears the same thing I am hearing:

We continue to believe the Senate does not have 60 votes for a meaningful cap and trade bill and today’s events are largely designed to keep the process moving. With healthcare taking up so much of the calendar and financial regulation to follow, cap and trade is now squarely put into the election calendar. Should something pass next year, we expect the legislation to a be a stripped down energy bill (as opposed to cap and trade) and that will feature a Renewable Portfolio Standard and possibly easing of approval for transmission lines.

Study: Cap-and-trade will cost U.S. families $1,200 a year

June 15, 2009

From the non-partisan Tax Foundation:

A new Tax Foundation calculator now shows how much a U.S. cap-and-trade system would cost individual households annually. The Tax Household Cap-and-Trade Burden Calculator is based upon a study released in March, Tax Foundation Working Paper No. 6, “Who Pays for Climate Policy? New Estimates of the Household Burden and Economic Impact of a U.S. Cap-and-Trade System.” The study shows that a cap-and-trade system designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent would place an annual burden of $144.8 billion on American households. The average annual household burden would be $1,218, which would be approximately 2% of the average household income.

Obama’s gas price conundrum

June 12, 2009

This American Thinker post explores the political fallout of rising gas prices on the Obamacrats. (Gas was a $1.80 when Obama took office.) When gas prices soared in 2008, the Dems hammered Bush and the GOP. But super-high prices ended up being a plus for the McCain campaign since he was arguing for an “all of the above” energy policy (more driling and nukes, not just alternative energy) which strikes most people as a pretty reasonable approach.  If we head back to $3.50/4.00,  the Obamacrats could get hit by a double whammy — public unhappiness at high gas prices and at the administration’s refusal to move beyond a green approach.

Cap-and-trade off the table for 2009

June 12, 2009

That is the conclusion of this Reuters story. But how about 2010? Here is the money graf:

Comment of the day …

June 10, 2009

I may never get a better comment than this one from my post about the $2 trillion cost of climate change legislation: