The whole idea of Cap and Trade was to harness the economic engine of self-interest and profitability to the social problem of carbon dioxide accumulation in the Earth’s atmosphere. The simple mechanism was to create a ‘virtual’ and perishable commodity something like a “Right to Pollute”. In the great compromise of the Waxman-Markey Bill (H.R.2454, US Congress, 2009) these were handed out left and right. Over time, the government would reduce the supply of these Rights to align business goals with the government’s goals. This way the economic incentives to adopt less-polluting technologies and practices would apply gradually over time.
In the Wall Street Journal, Kim Strassel provides a solid case as to why C&T will never make it through the US Senate, assuring that the upcoming Copenhagen ‘event’ nothing more than a PR excursion for the President to pick up his ‘Did-Nothing-To-Get-It’ Nobel Peace Prize. Clearly, the shenanigans of the ‘climate change consensus’ weenies have severely damaged, probably fatally, any chance of the legislation making it through to the President’s desk. Besides a recession and the lack of participation in the whole Kyoto scheme by the US’ biggest competitors and up-and-coming competitors – India and China – are two pretty good reasons to avoid penalizing our engines of economic growth when they are particularly sensitive.
The article also highlights that the Environmental Protection Agency used the climate science of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Centre (the largely discredited so-called scientists) to reach its regulatory declaration about carbon dioxide. Now that their source of credibility to regulate carbon dioxide has been deemed incredible, the EPA will be hard pressed to take any steps at all.