This is Why Cap-and-Trade is Dead

By now you’re probably have heard that the ‘term’ cap-and-trade is officially dead. Via Talking Points Memo

“I think the term ‘cap and trade’ is not in the lexicon anymore,” Salazar said, adding that supporters — including senators working on legislation — will focus more on ideas such as slowing pollution, creating jobs and becoming energy independent. “It’s in that context” the Senate will move forward, he said. (emphasis mine)

The term is dead. You know what cap and trade is a complex issue. It is. And no one in Congress bothers to understand how to relay the message in such a way that gets it down to a language where low info voters actually understand what its all about. After all they’re elected to represent the best interest of the voters. 

Once before I wholeheartedly supported cap-and-trade before it became clear to me that I was on the wrong track. The more I understand about the issue, the more I think that cap-and-trade is a bad idea. It’s bad enough to pollute. It’s even worst to outsource the pollution to developing countries

There is this study that shows the outflow of pollution via the flow of goods imported and exported from developed countries. Via Carnegie Inst. of Science. (h/t The New Republic)

carbon emission outsourced to developing nations

The United States is both a major importer and a major exporter of emissions embodied in trade. The net result is that the U.S. outsources about 11% of total consumption-based emissions, primarily to the developing world.

If you want to understand the story of cap and trade, give yourself a favor. Please watch this video. This story lays out the problems we have with cap-and-trade. (Thanks Annie!)

A better solution for us is to put a price on carbon pollution. Yes, a price. This time polluters would have to pay a fine. Starts at the top (the big polluters) and go down the list. 

Memo for democrats: to drum up support from Republican lawmakers and the public, frame the issue around energy security, jobs, global economic competitiveness. Speak in the language that your constituents (read: voters incl. the low info voters) understand. 

Let’s face it. We no longer competitive in the global economy. Countries like China, India have taken the lead on clean energy race with South Korea trailing. So, we got to do something about it.

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Author: Dewita

Co-founder Ecotwist Labs.

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