July 16, 2009

Is Cap-And-Trade Just Political Posturing? If Not, It Could Mean Economic Suicide

By GUY SORMAN IBD 15 July 2009

President Obama’s climate change legislation, the so-called “clean energy” bill, has passed the House of Representatives and is now being debated in the Senate. The president claims the bill will “spark a clear energy transformation that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and confront the carbon pollution that threatens our planet.”

In reality, the bill will have no impact whatsoever on global warming.

If global warming is in fact real and man-made, the bill’s imposition of a “cap-and-trade” permitting system on heavy emitters and the oil and gas industries will have only one consequence: the creation of a huge environmental bureaucracy in charge of implementing it. Europe’s experience with a similar cap-and-trade system since 2005 makes this clear.


If global warming is a real threat, such political posturing is deeply irresponsible. If it is not, then such postures can be safely ignored. In either case, however, in the name of global warming, it appears that we’ll have to pay for a bureaucratic army of green zealots in charge of useless regulation.

Guy Sorman is a contributing editor to City Journal and author of the new book, “Economics Does Not Lie: A Defense of the Free Market in a Time of Crisis” (Encounter Books, July 2009).


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