Is GOP Opposition to Cap-and-Trade Self-Contradictory?

by Marlo Lewis on August 18, 2010

in Blog

Betsy Moler of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership and Phil Sharp of Resources for the Future would like Republicans to think so. After all, if GOP opposition to cap-and-trade is self-contradictory, then it is unstable, hence reversible.

Few Republicans will be gulled by this line of chatter, but just to make sure, I posted a column debunking the Moler-Sharp argument on MasterResource.Org, the free-market energy blog.  

Republicans like markets (or say they do), and cap-and-trade is “market-based,” according to Moler and Sharp. In fact, cap-and-trade is politics-based. The demand for the traded commodity (the emission allowances) is entirely a creature of the cap, which is itself created not by the market but by politicians.

People posting comments on my column made astute observations, which suggest the following definition. Cap-and-trade: Government creation of a market in a commodity that everyone makes and nobody wants; from which a rent-seeking few gain windfall profits at consumers’ expense; and in which opportunities for corruption and creative accounting abound.

乐宝光电 August 22, 2010 at 4:22 am


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