March 16, 2009
Demise of Cap & Trade Follow-Up

The Seattle Times reports on that which we discussed yesterday, the seeming death of cap & trade legislation in Olympia.

Notable clips:

Both the state House and Senate have balked at adopting the so-called "cap-and-trade" system that would have forced industries to cut greenhouse-gas emissions to fall below a cap or buy extra permits in something resembling a stock market.


It marks a win for major Washington businesses and a setback for environmentalists and Gregoire, who had made the legislation a top environmental priority. It's also the clearest sign that, amid a crumbling economy, environmentalists face a tougher audience in the Legislature this year.


House Speaker Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, said many fellow Democrats voiced concern about the economic toll new regulations could take on businesses already shaken by the recession. He also has heard doubts about a market for pollution permits.

The flip side, however, is that journalists keep referring unskeptically to the European experience with cap & trade, as Cornwall does, and environmentalists keep referring it to a panacea:

Environmentalists, however, charge hesitation risks long-term damage to the state's economy, because there would be less incentive to pursue cleaner, new energy technology.

They also warn it threatens the ability to meet targets, established by the Legislature, to cut statewide carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, and 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

"We're changing from a fossil-fuel dependent economy to a carbon-reduction economy. That scares people. Does anyone doubt that we have to do it?" Traisman said.

The detachment from reality there is breathtaking. Do Traisman & Co. really understand the economic impact of cutting carbon emissions down to 50% of 1990 levels? Even if it were possible at an affordable economic cost, are we actually sure that dramatically slashing carbon emissions alone is the great environmental savior as proclaimed?

Meanwhile, the obvious problems with Europe's implementation of "tax & trade" have been known for sometime. Real world implementation - not just hypothetical fantasies ignoring the natural process of competing interest in government - has not gone as planned. Oh, and the actual environmental benefits of the system aren't panning out either, at the same time as real world economic costs raise substantial questions.

Some of these realities are seeping into our public policy debates (witness the apparent demise of bills in Olympia), especially in places where such proposals would have the most obvious impact.

Greater acknowledgment of the potential flaws and failures of cap & trade would be a great step forward in current reporting on the topic.

Posted by Eric Earling at March 16, 2009 10:57 AM | Email This
1. Now, especially, is just not the time for goofy stuff like "tax and trade". Even they know it.

Posted by: Michele on March 16, 2009 10:54 AM
2. We're probably heading into an ice-age anyway (caused by nature). They desperately want that tax money for sure.

Posted by: ajday on March 16, 2009 11:34 AM
3. ajday, cooling or warming matters not to the liberals. They will use either as an excuse to tax us, and limit our personal freedoms. You just watch.

Posted by: Gary on March 16, 2009 11:39 AM
4. C&T seems to be stalling in Europe. C&T seems to be on the outs here in Washington AC. Now lets just hope that the folks in Washington DC "get it" and it silently fades away.

Posted by: Fed Up on March 16, 2009 11:43 AM
5. The eco-extremist left trying to use documented results of European ''tax and trade'' as an example we should follow is at the same time hilarious, absurd, and scary (in a cynical sort of way); i.e.:
Their willingness to ignore objective reality in pursuit of their radical political goals apparently knows no bounds.

In that regard Gary is exactly right @ #3 above:
Cooling; warming; or causes of either matter not to the eco-far-left:
It's all about growing big brother government and implimenting their socialist agenda.

Posted by: Methow Ken on March 16, 2009 11:50 AM
6. Methow Ken, you know what the worst part is... you can't even have a casual conversation about the weather anymore without some liberal nearby turning it into a political debate.

Posted by: Gary on March 16, 2009 12:00 PM
7. Hugh Hewitt is all over the ESA regarding the polar bear listing and how it will force cap and trade or, in its worst, the shutdown of business (or at least the businesses the whackjobs don't like- far be it for them to be fair).

Posted by: swatter on March 16, 2009 12:03 PM
8. @7 swatter - Hugh Hewitt is just another right-wing gasbag. Nobody besides the established dittoheads care.

Posted by: Crusader on March 16, 2009 12:15 PM
9. Crusader, do you believe that a construction permit issued in South Carolina should be approved or disapproved based on its potential impact on Polar Bears?


Posted by: Gary on March 16, 2009 12:22 PM
10. Crusader.
Hugh Hewitt is just another right-wing gasbag.

And you know this by what?
It makes no difference. If HH is giving out info on ESA that can be helpful because the MSN won't. It makes a difference.

Next time, why do you try to debate the info he gives, instead of making child like remarks!

Posted by: Medic/Vet on March 16, 2009 12:26 PM
11. oops (next time why don't)

Hit the post key to quick

Posted by: Medic/Vet on March 16, 2009 12:34 PM
12. M/V - I guess my point really is that 60-70% of young voters do not trust a word that comes out of the mouth of any Republican. Do you admit it?

Posted by: Crusader on March 16, 2009 01:02 PM
13. Crusader.


Most young votes people watch little TV/news or radio.
What info they get either comes from blogs or their college prof.

I see now your not trying to back up you statement.

Posted by: Medic/Vet on March 16, 2009 01:08 PM
14. Gasbag? Well, yes; I could use the term to mean all talk show hosts. You have to be, don't you? And he is an ESA specialist on the top of that as an attorney. Attorneys are gasbags? I would say that was a valid term.

And no one paying attention? You are right, but they should. He is also all over the goofy Democrat sponsored Child Product Safety Act that was rammed through Congress, which is now wondering why the well-intentioned bill is now putting people out of work because it was written in typical Democrat fashion- fast and loose.

So, why do cap and trade when they have the polar bear endangered (which it isn't by the way) due to CO2 emissions?

Your guy Barry is doing this.

Posted by: swatter on March 16, 2009 01:54 PM
15. Here is some new information - found in the Drudge Report

Posted by: ajday on March 16, 2009 02:51 PM
16. Crusader, will you answer my question, or are you limited to calling people, 'gasbags'?


Posted by: Gary on March 16, 2009 05:26 PM
17. ajday, thanks for the link. Those researchers at UW-Milwaukee better be careful or they'll be maligned as heretics by the AlGorebots!

Posted by: Bill H on March 16, 2009 07:16 PM
18. China: Our carbon emissions are your problem, not ours. Source: Fox News Science page.

Posted by: Fed Up on March 17, 2009 08:32 AM
19. Hi,
Thank you! I would now go on this blog every day!

Thank you

Posted by: Bodyc on March 17, 2009 09:08 AM
20. Hi,
Everything dynamic and very positively! :)

Have a nice day

Posted by: SonyaSunny on March 23, 2009 11:02 AM
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