Cap and trade is already outmoded
Author: - November 6, 2009 - Updated: November 6, 2009
As Congress pursues climate control legislation, there’s concern that if the U.S. acts to reduce carbon emissions without like commitments from other nations, we’ll lose competitiveness in world markets, send jobs overseas and make no real difference in climate change.
Nonetheless, lawmakers continue to advance a cap and trade system, which would theoretically link with a similar European Union operation to curb pollution.
That plan is finding support among some of our global trading partners. And why not? If cap and trade is enacted and links with the E.U. system, demand for the fixed number of U.S. emission allowances would send carbon prices higher here, compared with lower prices in Europe.
The irony here is that some of our global allies, including France, Japan and Australia, have been actively exploring alternatives to the cap and trade system, such as a tax on carbon emissions. That could put our nation well behind the curve if lawmakers cling to cap and trade.
A new direction is needed. Perhaps we should look to a simple, transparent tax that essentially measures a company’s carbon footprint and sends a bill.
A straight carbon tax would be good for the nation and good for Colorado. It would give our state’s emitting businesses real incentive to invest in pollution-curbing technologies, while offering a chance to take the lead in alternative energy innovation.
Let’s forget capping and trading. There’s a better, smarter way to reduce pollution, and some of our global allies already have discovered it.