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  • Author:
  • Published: May 28th, 2010
  • Category: USA
  • Comments: 3

Opinion: The case for strong climate policy is simple. A cap on carbon pollution is, too.

| Sourced From Theenergycollective |

Edward L. Glaeser makes the case for simplicity in addressing climate change. I couldnt agree more with his premise. The basic economics are indeed simple. Climate change might be the largest market failure the world has ever seen. To correct it, put the right incentives in place: correct the fact that we currently treat the atmosphere as a free sewer for our global warming pollution. Problem solved.

The how and especially the politics are not quite as straight-forward. Glaeser bemoans that the proposed American Power Act has 987 pages and identifies three culprits: that the Act tries to do more than just put a price on carbon, that it uses a cap-and-trade system rather than a tax, and that the problem has an important international dimension. He is broadly right on one and three but not on two: the issue of a cap versus a tax.

A firm limit on global warming pollution does not make the law more complicated. It makes it better.

First, a cap sets a firm upper limit on pollution. Glaeser acknowledges as much by saying that

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3 Responses to “Opinion: The case for strong climate policy is simple. A cap on carbon pollution is, too.”

  1. Peter Wood
    on May 29th, 2010
    @ 3:39 pm

    There is another reason why the bill is 987 pages long. The pages are double spaced and have margins whose total width is at least as much as the text. There is not much text on each page. I agree that simplicity is preferable, but the bill is in fact not all that complex.

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