« Remember to send Lisa Jackson a Thank You Card | Main | Yale Environment 360: Mass Scale of Renewables Shift Is Evident in Blueprint for New York State »



Avery Gant

President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to cutting greenhouse gas emissions in his state of the union address last month. This article discusses recent political action regarding cap-and-trade systems and tries to stimulate action towards a carbon cap and trade system. The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 provides support that a cap and trade system can be an economically successful method in reducing emissions (in this case SO2). This vote was passed through bipartisan support from both Republican and Democratic parties. The authors go to note that a cap-and-trade system for emissions was often thought as a Republican idea, in that it accounted for ecological changes through economics. Recent cap and trade legislation has been met with opposition from Republicans. The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (known as the Waxman-Markey bill) included a cap and trade system for CO2 emissions and passed through the House with support from 83% of Democrats, but only 4% of Republicans. Most of this opposition was due to disagreements about the threat of climate change and the costs of the mitigation policies. The use of cap and trade systems to mitigate levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are unlikely to be cost effective, and the bipartisan nature of Congress makes it hard for these systems to be changed to prevent economic losses. However, cap-and-trade systems have been shown as a viable method to effectively reduce emissions.

Holley Beasley

This article emphasizes the fact that the conservatives are "demonising their own market-based creation", referring to the cap and trade as a "cap-and-tax". I was confused about what caused such a sudden change of attitude in the conservatives. So I was looking it up on Google and found a conservative blog from 2009 that states, "Cap and Trade is not about making America energy independent or promoting green technologies - it's about the left's unrelenting desire to change America's lifestyle and economy, limit our choices and punish economic success..." This statement, which is just absolutely ridiculous, makes the author of the blog seem pretty dumb to anyone who is slightly educated on the topic of global climate change. The problem is that too many people are not educated at all, and choose to remain ignorant. It also suggests that the conservatives change of attitude has nothing to do with the actual facts related to cap and trade and environmental policy but instead has everything to do with partisanship and doing everything they can not to give in to the Democrats.

This article is tied to Krugman's article, "Building a Green Economy". Krugman points out the striking example of John McCain, who "played a leading role in cap and trade...[and now] lambastes the whole idea as 'cap and tax'". He also talks about the diminishing hope of progress in the Senate, with the Republicans suddenly changing their tune regarding cap and trade and with a good amount of Democratic senators representing energy-producing and agricultural states. Krugman is right; we have the economic analysis of limiting greenhouse gas emissions down, now we just need the political will. It's probably safe to say that the future of this planet is slightly more pressing than the pride the conservative representatives are clinging to.

Blog website: http://www.the-global-warming.org/climate-change/cwa-nj-conservatives-with-attitude-»-blog-archive-»-cap-and-trade/

Shawn Swaney

Like Holley's response above, I also found the mass shift in ideology from a pro to a negative cap and trade system rather intriguing. I really like how Holley also quoted Krugman in saying "we have the economic analysis of limiting greenhouse gases, now we just need the political will."

This political will, and more importantly the will of the public, is where I see the problems in the situation. With a cap and trade system, I would imagine it would be hard to convince people to vote for a system where you are paying to pollute. Even if you were uneducated about climate change and carbon dioxide emissions, I think it is an inherent trend in society to associate bad connotations with pollution. On the other side of the coin (taxes over cap and trade), very few are going to willingly vote for higher prices on gasoline and other commodities to allow for a carbon tax. This duality is where I think that legislation has come to a standstill. No one can rally around the "best" idea, because to the untrained public eye (which most of the voters would be) both options have a negative connotation to them.

In my opinion the solution lies in advancements in technology. If we can find a way to lower the cost of producing emitting commodities like gasoline, a small spike in prices wouldn't mean as much. I would think that the two would allow for just enough of an offset that the public could rally behind it


This article discusses the brief history of cap-and-trade systems for emissions in the US, and how political support for such systems has changed. Before reading Richard Schamalensee’s article, I was unaware that the US has had a cap-and-trade system for sulfur dioxide since 1990. Backed by bipartisan supporters in Congress, Republican Presidents Ronald Regan and George H.W. Bush implemented the SO2 emissions cap-and-trade system. However, Republicans in Congress have most recently led the attack against a CO2 cap-and-trade system. Once proponents of market-based cap-and-trade systems, conservatives now vilify them as “cap-and-tax” system that expand government’s role in the free market economy. While these systems undoubtedly increase the government’s role in the market, as compared to no policy at all, cap-and-trade systems are far less intrusive than command and control policies. I find it perplexing that conservatives in Congress (in general) have recognized the need to reduce CO2 emissions, but at the same time stonewall the CO2 cap-and-trade proposal, a systems that has proven to be widely successful in the reduction of S02 emissions. CO2 emissions regulations are on the horizon. It seems extremely shortsighted to try to completely avoid any policy towards them simply because it will raise costs of production. Considering the international movement towards regulation of CO2 emissions and the fact that the cap-and-trade system has already been proven to be vastly successful in the reduction of emissions in the US, it would be in our best economic interests to take a proactive stance towards CO2 emissions policy, instead of delaying the inevitable. If a proactive CO2 emissions policy is not enacted, a command and control policy will be in order to reduce our emissions.

Doug Poetzsch

First off, I find this article frustrating because of Congress and the government's inability and lack of urgency in dealing with climate change. We have read numerous papers in class that discuss of if we act urgently, we may be able to stabilize emissions and avert the worst-case scenarios of global climate change. I do not get why there is not bi-partisan support for addressing climate change and I find it frustrating.

This article does a good job explaining some of the previous of the previous successes of a cap and trade system. As we talked about in class a cap and trade system will work well under a scenario where marginal abatement costs are certain. If marginal abatement costs are uncertain, a cap and trade system will still meet the required level of emissions, but the price of the tradable permits can fluctuate a great deal. It may have been that the scenarios presented in this article were examples of certain marginal abatement costs. Overall however, I am not convinced that a cap and trade policy is the best way to deal with climate change, a tax on carbon still seems like the best approach in my opinion.


Doug's above point references the "3 methods of Pursuing the Optimum Amount of Carbon Emissions" discussed in class-- tax, cap-and-trade, and command and control. As Doug explains, with cap-and-trade, the amount of emissions can be certain but the method doesn't necessarily create the lowest abatement costs. But on the other hand, doesn't it have the option to have a LOWER overall abatement cost? What if all firms are exaggerating their abatement costs and it ends up being a less costly solution? We've talked about this in class that many firms actually exaggerate the cost and find it easier to reduce than they thought. Plus, cap and trade offers the option of making money. If we can admit that climate change is actually a problem, then I think people would agree that cap and trade is the best solution. The American spirit is build on adaptation-- so politicians and lobbyists digging their heels in only gets us so far, and burying our head in the sand only buys us so much time before we actually have a serious problem on our hands.

Cort Hammond

If only everyone in this nation could see Dr. Alley speak...
As Dr. Alley indicated, there are really no major questions as to whether we should act on climate change; and there is little hope that any solution besides a price on carbon will bring about the necessary action. The technology, as we have seen in numerous papers, is already available.

It is aggravating to see such petty division over such a critical issue. However, division occurs across more than just party lines. Even among those who recognize the need for action, there are those who argue against cap-and-trade solutions. This further weakens the case of economic incentive solutions. One prominent example is the pop-culture green Anne Leonard and her video "The Story of Cap & Trade," in which she scares the public about cap-and-trade being a financial scam and about how it is not a perfect solution. This type of language is exactly the sort of appeal to pathos that gets us into the ideological mess. She identifies the give-away of permits, the potential for offset permit scams, and distraction from a real solution as the major problems. These certainly are problems, but they are not reason to abandon the whole idea. While she doesn't say that that economic solutions are strictly bad, her proposed solution is confusing; she says that a strong cap and carbon fees (taxes) are required. In a tax-based solution, a cap is not needed! She should be advocating an emissions tax only so as to help point the public in a logical and focused direction. She also ignores that case of the RGGI, which has seen such success. Overall, this video adds to the fear of market solutions. We are to the point where some action is better than none at all.

So, it is not just conservatives who are weakening the case for climate legislation. Clearly, this is not a 'liberal' policy, it is a policy of those who are looking to move forward logically rather than becoming mired in an endless debate over the 'best' solution. There is still a chance to unify around logic.

Curtis Jay Correll

The classic conservative idea of market-based solutions to problems has historically dominated the Republican party. So what could be more conservative than fixing market failures with the creation of new markets? The tragedy of the commons is widely accepted by economists to create market failures especially in terms of pollution. Somehow politicians, lobbyists and rhetoricians have managed to silence both environmentalists and economists on these issues, portraying simply making firms pay for their own damages as a tax. It is amazing how effective they have been in changing the vocabulary of the debate and in doing so completely changing the issue.

It is sad that such a practical and conservative approach to the problem of climate change and the environment has been twisted in such a way that people no longer look at the issue itself but at party platforms. Conservatives have abandoned an effective and economically sound solution to the environmental problem and left it entirely in the hands of the Democrats to solve these problems. This reduces the chances of finding an acutal solution, and when it is found it is less likely to be agreeable to conservative economists. True conservatives who worry about the problem of environmental damage and climate change must speak out and bring the Republican back to the bargaining table on environmental issues.

Marissa Gubler

This was a very interesting read. One point I wished the article explored would be what caused a majority of conservatives in Congress to shift their views from indorsing cap and trade to attacking it within the last 20 years. In other words, why does there exist a sense that conservatives cannot support government intervention in the regulation of environmental hazards/ problems? Anyways, if the United States is going to solve any of our problems, from economic repression to climate change, Congressional senators and representatives cannot let their partisanship dictate the way they vote. Decisions should be made by evaluating impacts of all actions in question with an eye that is as much unbiased as possible. Constituents need to take notice of the government's current inaction, such as in the sequestration, and vote out officials who only vote based on their political affiliation instead of voting based on evaluating the costs and benefits of action and inaction. Then again, there are politicians who act like they are concerned about an issue, but instead of acting on that, they just keep talking. These are some of the reasons why the United States has so many problems facing its people, because the government officials typically want to argue and create stalemates instead of trying to solve the problem. The only way to change this is for voters to inform themselves as much as possible so that they can make the best choices during elections and vote people who do not help our situation out. Of course, if the United States wants to back up climate change legislation on a global scale, it needs to make some move, whether it be a carbon tax or a cap and trade system, so that other countries can take us seriously and be more willing to join in the efforts to mitigate climate change.

Matthew Thomas Howell

I agree with Holley's post above. Many people seem ignorant about the facts of climate change, and have little interest to actually learn the truth. I was unaware of much of the climate change evidence when I began this class but now understand that actions need to be taken. The fact that political parties stand in the way of successful policies being implemented is ridiculous. Despite your party affiliation, the negative externalities associated with climate change are going to affect you and your family. The cap and trade system, while not being a perfect remedy, is nonetheless helpful and a positive step for the USA to take considering its massive CO2 emission levels.

Account Deleted

While I agree that lack of knowledge about some of the science and issues surrounding climate change plays a role in this seeming gross flip-flop by conservatives on an issue that would seem to define their party ideals, I'll attempt to offer what I see as some plausible (if not perfectly linear) reasons for the change.

Fundamentally, the republican party has become the party advocating for lower taxes. It is ingrained in the party's image now. While there are numerous ways of implementing cap and trade, the policy is essentially to impose a tax/cost on carbon emission. So immediately republicans have a problem. Of course, any carbon tax/cap and trade scheme could offset these higher taxes with lower rates elsewhere. However, the political process being what it is, it would be difficult to put forward this type of plan.

Another key issue I see at work here is the fact that it is a cap and trade system instead of a flat tax. With lobbying being what it is, firms are severely opposed to such flat taxes and would want the permits to be giveaways. This causes big problems. How do you determine who gets these zero cost permits? I think this is where problems arise. Fundamentally as we've seen in numerous papers, energy is tied to GDP (as is growth). To be able to determine who gets energy permits is to have strong determinant effects on the overall economy. Therefore while cap and trade in its most basic premise a market solution to efficiently reduce pollution, by allowing or requiring the government to choose who to allocate the permits to introduces government intervention that undermines the efficient market forces that cap and trade would otherwise introduce.

In order to fully get away from the problems of the political process that everyone is criticizing, we should either move to a flat tax or a full auctioning off of all permits. However, our current system introduces market inefficiencies through government's choice of who receives permits that undermine the market origins of cap and trade policy. Further, republicans, who broadly are suspicious of government oversight and intrusion at all are particularly concerned when this particular intrusion would grant control over most of the economy given its current dependence on fossil fuels.

Rachel Samuels

I feel as though the problems discussed in this article are yet another noxious by-product of bipartisanship. It is always unsettling how many viable options for pollution reduction are kicked to the curb as a result of party ego, and cap-and-trade appears to have similarly fallen by the wayside, despite how it is a better method of exacting the cost of pollution than a tax is because it is capable of determining and utilizing individual abatement costs. If politicians didn't let their party bias think for them, I feel as though we would arrive at the decision made in 1990 for SO2. If anything, the blow to pride should come from how successful the 2003 EU Emission Trading System appears to be.

The idea that our politicians are limiting viable options because they are incapable of seeing past the color on their election polls is inconceivable. Particularly with the lesson we are still learning in terms of budgeting with the tax sequestration, it is seeming more and more that we need to seriously reassess the values of our political system. With global warming, no one wants to be the one to take the 2-3% GDP fall in the present, and are instead going to wait until GDP falls by 10% on its own due to decreased production curve and availability of resources. Particularly in the case outline by this article, it is clear that decisions are being made according to inept party lines, especially considering the pancake flip-flop between the 80s and now. Renouncing something based on terminology and not the actual components of the action signify a juvenile mindset that is legitimately frightening in the people supposedly running our country. I would take the fall if I could, because it would be worth it, but I'm unfortunately not an elected official. What's it going to take to force the facts and the need for action into the political mindset? What's it going to take for unified decision-making? I don't know, and we obviously haven't found it yet. The idea of a global cap-and-trade system seems particularly promising, however, as it would be incumbent on the US to follow it, despite our inner division. I'd say international decision making would have more headway (which is somewhat ironic, all things considered). Hopefully we will be able to shed the irrelevant party biases before more irrevocable damage is done.

David Fishman

Echoing what everyone else has said so far, it is both ironic and unfortunate that the debate over cap-and-trade type policies has become demonized and a very partisan issue. The article points out that this market-based approach was, in fact, the output of both Reagan and Bush Sr.’s terms. Jack points out that a principle reason for this schism is that conservatives are obstinately trying to portray themselves as the party of lower taxes. Hence, the “cap-and-tax” rhetoric touches home with a lot of supporters. Still, there seems to be a viable solution to ameliorate the tax aspect while maintaining the cap aspect…just distribute the permits (based on some equitable method) rather than auctioning them off. That way, although firms will suffer from the subsequent abatement costs, they are at least partially compensated with a new asset on their balance sheet. This asset will find some form of productive use for the firm, generating some compensation, thus a middle ground for the two parties to stand on.

Whether the partisan gridlock continues or not, there is substantial evidence that the Clean Air Act of 1990, especially Amendment Title IV, demonstrated the success that a marketable permit system can generate. The program reduced SO2 and NOx emissions while inducing greater efficiency gains within the industry than expected. This success relates to the Porter hypothesis: the theory that strict environmental regulation provokes innovation that heightens productivity and other efficiency gains within an industry. The article points to better than expected savings of about $250 million a year, reiterating the benefits of this market-based program that reduces harmful emissions that negatively impact our standard of living. A point that we can only hope will be conveyed accurately to the political party that once so adamantly stood for market-based solutions.


This article is a depressing reminder of the current state of political discourse in the United States—proof that logic fails to prevail in Washington. Certain politicians must feel the current and future costs of playing political football are too low for the subject of capping CO2 emissions to be taken seriously. Instead, political gain takes precedent. On the bright side however, the Republican Party is now in the process of redefining itself as it attempts to recover from major political defeats. Hopefully, it will return to its environmental policies of the 1980s and early 1990s as it aims to gain traction in environmental debate. It can certainly be argued that there exists lots of room for improvement, seeing as their argument against marketable pollution permits is that it is “collateral damage”. In reality, cap and trade plans effectively equate the marginal abatement costs across polluters (and minimizing them) by forcing each one to compare her marginal abatement cost with the price of a permit. While it may not be as effective as command and control policies at achieving the target level of pollution, its track record is solid and can be feasibly passed into legislation. Lets hope we can all agree on it sooner rather than later.

Dylan Florig

This article proved just how much of an uphill battle dealing with climate change is and will continue to be. Yes, the Republican party is doing all it can to be the "no taxes" party, but at some point there has to be an acknowledgement of the facts on climate change. I found it intriguing that the 1990 Clean Air Act was passed along geographical, not party, lines in Congress. I think there is a distint difference between today's issue and the acid rain issue, and that is the lack of easily visible evidence for casual observers. If forests were visibly being destroyed by acid rain, I can see how it would be easier to gain support for a measure to stop that from happening. However, with climate change, uninformed citizens (and members of Congress) can turn and look away from the technical and scientific evidence for climate change and its dangers. Some people look outside and see snow and think that's enough evidence against climate change; when members of Congress are catering to these folks plus wealthy lobbying groups heavily invested against cap and trade and carbon taxes, it is tough to get anything meaningful done. I think there needs to be more education on the dangerous effects of climate change even though it's not easily visible now. Maybe when there is pressure from the American people, politicians will have to, once again, take the issue of climate dangers seriously.

Ellen Gleason

As stated by many of the others, this article re-emphasized the particularly sad state of our political process when it comes to environmental legislation. The heightened partisanship and polarization in Congress surrounding issues of climate change and potential solutions defies logical thinking, but I agree with several people above who pointed out the lack of knowledge regarding these issues, and how that lack allows politicians to continue their lack of action without repercussion. I came away from this article wondering what it would take to force both sides of the political spectrum to work together in enacting forceful climate legislation. As science continually strengthens the case for anthropogenic climate change, I feel that there is a gradual, but positive, change in the nation's mindset with regard to the need for action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I can only hope that the change in thinking and attitude will begat progress before it's too late.

Haley Miller

It is interesting to note, based on our recent readings about the efficiency of taxation over cap and trade, that Obama is pursuing a permit system to reduce CO2 emissions. However, it appears from previous domestic and international experiences that permit systems are efficient and cost-saving.

It is extremely disappointing that conservatives have chosen to "draw a line in the sand" about climate litigation. Economics exists within the natural environment, not separate from it. Climate change policy is necessary for economic strength, not detrimental to it.

Charles Busch

The article discusses the irony in the fact that conservatives almost universally oppose their own cap-and-trade creation. This immense irony extends even further--now it seems as though it will be more difficult to pass the most efficient way to correct emissions externalities than more costly methods. The implementation of the US S02 cap-and-trade system has lead to similar policies abroad, including the EU Emissions Trading System. Recently, China has begun to entertain the possibility of a cap and trade system.
Professor Casey mentioned the depressing reality that we were probably closer to addressing climate change in 2003 than we are in 2013. This reality underscores one of the main impediments to confronting global climate change in a comprehensive and efficient manner: political willpower. George HW Bush's proposal for a S02 tradable permits systmen passed both the Senate and the House of Representatives with over 85% and 90% Republican and Democrat votes, respectively. Perhaps the first step to confronting climate change as a country is to change the partisan mindset in Washington, which is plaguing our country's progress in many other ways as well.

Kate LeMasters

I agree with Charles; we must make this issue bipartisan. We can reminisce about the times when climate change was not part of a party’s agenda, but for action to occur, we must address the issue objectively from a humanitarian standpoint, not a political agenda standpoint. The cap and trade policy for SO2 sparked international movement, so we have seen how large an effect our policies can have on the global sphere, and it’s simply frightening that labeling this policy as “liberal” is preventing global action. When we think about our actions in a global setting, we must consider the ramifications that our inaction will have internationally, as stated in the World Bank’s article “Turn Down The Heat.” Our lack of action is increasing ocean acidification, sea level rises, decreases in crop productivity, etc. We cannot think about this as a domestic issue that exists on a political agenda.
Additionally, I agree with other students that emphasized the need for technological progress and research and development. If we are keeping the discussion around cap and trade, lowering our marginal abatement costs will decrease the price of permits, so the conservative argument that it is “cap and tax” proves faulty when we can lower the price by increasing research and development.
This argument, combined with the global outlook we should be having, is, to me, enough reason to institute a cap and trade policy on emissions of greenhouse gases. However, until we recognize the multiplied impacts that our policies will have on the world, we may not have the political willpower to make climate change a national concern rather than a political campaign strategy.

Julia Murray

As many others have said, I find it extremely disappointing that climate change policy has become such a politicized issue. While any policy regarding the environment must obviously originate in congress, it does not need to be the case that conservatives and liberals be in opposition on every issue. I found it interesting that "many conservatives in the Congress undoubtedly opposed climate policies because of disagreement about the threat of climate change or the costs of the policies." While I am not at all surprised that the general public is uninformed about climate change and, as the article "Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change" proves, most people are unaware of the overwhelming consensus about climate change in the scientific community. It is somewhat surprising to me, however, that members of Congress are as uneducated as the public. It seems to me that the people charged with passing our government's legislation should research and fully understand the issues that they are debating. If all the articles we have read that state that there is now no question of whether climate change is occurring are true, then there should not be a question in Congress about the threat of climate change. Considering the strong conservative bias against any type of government intervention, however, I wonder if more education on the issue would even help that much.

Brett Murray

For more on President Obama's renewed commitment towards addressing climate change climate change, NY Times recently released an article that discussed three of his new cabinet nominations; cabinet heads of budget, energy, and EPA. There are some interesting perceptions associated with each of these hirings, particularly focusing on the negative perception of these nominations from right-wing/conservatives in congress.

I think the biggest take away from this article is the substantial lag and inefficiency that is inherent in our current political system. Currently, there is no longer scientific debate about the reality and risks that are associated with climate change. The only challenge is proving that there is NO DEBATE among scientists to society and policy makers.

The conservative shift in perception from cap-and-trade to "cap-and-tax" rhetoric could honestly be used against debate amongst republicans. This is largely due to the fact that cap-and-trade policies are by no means the most effective policies in terms of reducing emissions and reducing total abatement cost. A carbon tax or fossil-power tax are much better alternatives because they involve economic incentives, which will encourage companies to invest in alternative energy sources and drive innovation in the Alternative Energy market. In Lovins's new book "Reinventing Fire," he highlights the present value cost of 4 different energy scenarios (1 being business as usual and 4 being transforming to renewable energy technologies for the majority of electricity productions... with two moderate scenarios that fall in between these). After looking at some of the findings in the link below from a book review, it is clear that there are no longer technological or economic barriers to climate change, but rather it simply a lack of societal and political will. In particular, look at the graphs describing:
The value of U.S. energy savings by switching to renewable (solar and wind) and natural gas
Actual cost of U.S. Oil dependence &
Present value cost of each of the 4 scenarios.
Trust me, the results from the Rocky Mountain Institute will be very surprising to most.

Will Andrews

The article is striking in the fact that a cap and trade policy was clearly an effective way to reduce the amount of SO2 in the air, suggesting that it is also an effective way to reduce the amount of CO2 emissions. Why now, do voting members of congress feel that is not a apt method to reduce the huge amounts of CO2 emission in our atmosphere? Perhaps the problem is not that members think that the method will not be effective. Maybe the problem lies in members’ of congress lack of awareness of the magnitude CO2 emissions influence global climate change or that the advent of such a large scale problem is hard to stomach. Like many debates concerning global climate change outside the realm of people whose field it is to study climate change, I feel that the problem lies in knowledge- knowledge that an extreme problem does in fact exist and then acceptance that steps must be taken to counter act the destruction caused by the emissions.

Wen Xiang Chuah

As posted above, the primary issue once again lies within Congress' inability to present and discuss issues without overly politicization. Tying again into the political structure of the United States, the decentralization of authority and excessive focus on (underinformed) public participation. In particular, it also outlines the lack of knowledge possessed by the nation's policymakers as a whole, which is undoubted a detriment when it comes to making informed decisions for the betterment of the nation.

Sommer Ireland

I find it sad that environmental policy in Washington has such sharp political divides. The state of our environment shouldn't be disregarded, and it's a good thing that President Obama has made it clear that it is an important issue for him, so hopefully there will be more support for environmental legislation. "Cap and tax" as referred to by republicans has such a negative connotation, and while these Republicans don't think that the environment is that big of an issue, that we should focus more on "fixing the economy" but when you let the environment go to hell, it will still affect the economy. The environmental landscape of a country does impact economic production and the economy. We have observed that from the developing nations located around the equator. Climate change policy should not be such a polarized issue in Washington, in fact it shouldn't be a political issue at all, and it definitely should not be disregarded as a minor issue.
On another note, I liked the fact that this article was about cap-and-trade as opposed to greenhouse taxes as a majority of the articles we've read have been staunchly in favor of taxation over cap and trade, though it shows that cap and trade can be equally effective through the observed reduction in SO2 emissions. Again, it's frustrating that cap and trade is labeled as a liberal policy because people get so hung up on the word liberal before it's even given a chance.

Paul R

Maybe Smokey should find a new job?
During the 2008 recession many people lost their jobs. As this article highlights our government's partisan system keeps beneficial policies from forming in a divided Congress. During the Bush family(father and son) administrations SO2 reductions occurred due to cap and trade. Republicans still refuse to take this successful test of cap and trade policy and use it with CO2 emissions. Some have even changed opinions against implementation because of party lines and not use previous economic examples. If science and incentive programs can not save the day due to political gridlock maybe Smokey the Bear should aim for the capitol instead of the wilderness. Moral Suasion is not the most reliable means but pressure from constituents could help pressure Congress to pass some form of cap and trade legislation. Wildfires are still a problem, but if carbon emissions continue to go up raising sea levels and temperatures with it, we might need Senator Smokey to stay out of the fire and cool off in the pan.
_Paul Reilly

The comments to this entry are closed.