James Pethokoukis

Cap-and-trade prospects looking dodgy

November 27, 2009

Kim Strassel is right, cap-and-trade looks terminal for 2010 and beyond. Sure, the EPA could try to push its own draconian carbon regulation. But I think that would cause a firestorm on Capitol Hill. Strassel:

Why cap-and-trade is ‘dead policy walking’

November 18, 2009

Carbon cap-and-trade legislation appears to be Dead Policy Walking in Washington. The devaluation of the Copenhagen climate summit – now the goal is a “politically binding” rather than a “legally binding” agreement — reflects the emerging political reality in the United States. Yes, a bill did pass the House of Representatives in June. Also, the Senate Environment and Public Works committee passed a version earlier this month. So President Barack Obama won’t go to the talks in Denmark with empty pockets next month.

Afternoon speed round

November 17, 2009

Some of the best things I read today:

1) Tyler Cowen gives his version of healthcare reform. Ideas 3-10 are particularly strong.

US Chamber of Commerce and climate change

October 20, 2009

OK, here is the USCOC’s basic position on climate change from recent congressional testimony:

Obama, this is why America is not Europe

October 13, 2009

As usual, Joel Kotkin nails it:

In a rapidly aging society like Germany’s and those of other E.U. countries you can make a case for slow growth, limited work hours, early retirement and a strict regulatory regime. But for America, with its growing workforce and population, slow economic growth simply is not socially sustainable.

2012 Watch: Romney goes after cap-and-trade

October 8, 2009

Mitt Romney attacks cap-and-trade via video over at his PAC website, Free and Strong America. He basically portrays it as an energy tax on Americans (which it is) that will hurt American competitiveness vs. India and China (which is it will.)

$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:

Obama’s unilateral move on climate change

October 1, 2009

OK, so the White House has greenlit the EPA to go forward with new rules, as the NYTimes puts it,  “to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from hundreds of power plants and large industrial facilities.”  I think this lobbyist quotes in the article gets the politics right:

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.

Why strong climate change legislation is dead

September 11, 2009

My new favorite blog, New Geography, does a fine piece of analysis that reveals why 80 percent cuts in climate change emissions are a fantasy without a radical technology breakthrough: