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February 13, 2010
Originally published in Ventura County Star
Re: Thomas D. Elias’ Feb. 9 column, “Misguided opposition to AB32 and cap and trade”:
Elias wrote that “doing something about greenhouse-gas emissions doesn’t necessarily mean business will be hurt or jobs lost.” As evidence, Elias noted that stock prices rose for companies that received the highest emission quotas under the European Union’s cap-and-trade scheme. But he never explained why it’s good policy to guarantee windfall profits for politically favored industries.
After all, these stock surges resulted from government give-aways, so they came at the expense of energy consumers and taxpayers. Unfortunately, climate-change politics are no different here. Last summer, the House passed a cap and trade that was based largely on a blueprint drafted by the Climate Action Partnership, a lobbying front for industry titans, including Dow Chemical and General Electric.
Elias is partly right but mostly wrong. A cap-and-trade scheme benefits a few special interests, but it does so by hurting the overall economy.