Even though 4 Democratic Senators are so nervous about the electricity tax called cap-and-trade they are urging their leadership to drop it from the global warming bill, no-one should count on that happening yet. More Senators need to wake up to the significant problems cap-and-trade has, and there is no better example of those than the European version of the scheme. With that in mind, my colleague Roger Abbott and I have written a piece for the American Spectator today that outlines just two of the problems the Europeans have encountered. We conclude:
To sum up, the failure of the European ETS should give pause to Senators considering a similar system for the U.S. Cap-and-trade will not result in emissions cuts. It will, however, greatly enhance the power of the government to regulate the economy. And it will lead to higher energy costs, as the costs of trading permits add to utilities' cost of doing business.
Given these facts, why the strong push for cap-and-trade? The sad fact is that both President Obama and the Democratic Congress are misleading the public. Alternative measures such as a carbon tax have not been considered precisely because their costs are transparent and obvious to the public. By contrast, cap-and-trade allows the President and Congress to claim credit for "taking action" on global warming without acknowledging the real costs that entails -- costs which the public, when informed of the facts, is rightly unwilling to accept.
Feel free to send a copy of our piece to your Senator!