James Pethokoukis

3 reasons why cap-and-trade is in trouble

September 8, 2009

The man who will almost certainly become Japan’s next prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, is promising to cut the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020.

The way forward on climate change …

September 7, 2009

This, from Tom Barnett amplifying on a Bjorn Lomborg op-ed, seems like a policy that could actually work in the real world. Reducing economic growth is a sure loser:

More business attacks on climate change bill

August 28, 2009

I don’t think cap-and-trade is going anywhere soon, but its opponents are not letting up on the pressure (via The Hill):

Republicans, the carbon tax and the 2010 election

August 26, 2009

My pal and superbrain Jon Henke got all excited for a minute when he thought that U.S. Senate candidate in Connecticut Rob Simmons was in favor of a carbon tax where the revenue would be used to eliminate payroll taxes. But then the Simmons campaign clarified the matter:

How Goldman Sachs is hurting cap-and-trade

July 20, 2009

My sources have been unrelentingly negative about the chances of a cap-and-trade bill getting passed, but far less so about a renewable energy standard on electricity providers. So any suggestion to split the Waxman-Markey approach into separate cap-and-trade and RES bills, as  Sen. Byron Dorgan is doing,  is a big negative for capandtraders.  It’s also amazing to see how the current anti-Wall Street sentiment is hurting cap-and-trade because of the perceptions that financial firms will make a mint in the trading of emission permits. Here is a bit from a recent Dorgan op-ed piece:

Shock! Climate change expert favors hyping global warming threat

July 15, 2009

This bit from an  interview with Nobel Prize-winning economist and climate change worrier Thomas Schelling is a stunner (bold is mine):

A global green war on the wealthy?

July 7, 2009

This report from my Reuters colleagues is a stunner:

WASHINGTON, July 6 (Reuters) – To fairly divide the climate change fight between rich and poor, a new study suggests basing targets for emission cuts on the number of wealthy people, who are also the biggest greenhouse gas emitters, in a country. Since about half the planet’s climate-warming emissions come from less than a billion of its people, it makes sense to follow these rich folks when setting national targets to cut carbon dioxide emissions, the authors wrote on Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. … The study suggests setting a uniform international cap on how much carbon dioxide each person could emit in order to limit global emissions; since rich people emit more, they are the ones likely to reach or exceed this cap, whether they live in a rich country or a poor one. …  Is this a limousine-and-yacht tax on the rich? Not necessarily, [author] Chakravarty said, but he did not rule it out: “We are not by any means proposing that. If some country finds a way of doing that, it’s great.”

This is what Pelosi should have said about cap-and-trade …

June 30, 2009

This is much punchier than “jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs.” James Lovelock (via the Climate Progress blog):

Pelosi, a vision in white — but not green

June 30, 2009

It was Nancy Pelosi’s star turn. (The blindingly white pant suit — Armani? Lovely.) The House speaker giving the closing argument at the end of the cap-and-trade debate that she personally pushed to the floor. The final pitch. “Just remember these four words for what this legislation means: jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs. Let’s vote for jobs.” Then the victorious vote. The greatest achievement of her legislative career. “An extraordinary piece of legislation,” said President Obama.

Obama’s techno-optimism

June 29, 2009

The president on cap-and-trade, via the WSJ): “My strong belief is, is that innovation and technology are going to accelerate our process beyond these targets, and that we’re going to look back and say we can do even more.” Despite conservative naysaying about alternative technologies, there could well be huge leaps forward. But the same is also true of nuclear energy technology, which is why it is such a shame that the Obamacrats want to push it out of the debate .