Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Is Cap-n-Trade Dead?

Recession, Iraq, banking bailout, housing crisis, and health care reform are just some of the major initiatives that the Obama administration is attacking this year. Is there enough political will and political capital to pass carbon regulation, despite the potential of an incremental $650B of federal revenue? (Note that RGGI, a small regional cap-n-trade system in the US, continues to prove the viability of cap-n-trade. It raised $117M this month, increasing the total tax revenue raised to $260M in six months.)

Moreover, the financial crisis is accelerating the readjustment of world economic power. The rising confidence and influence of China continues, and some now talk of the "G-2" (China and the US) and not the G-20 (which has an important meeting next week in London).

Does this all suggest that the US will not pass GHG regulation this year before a critical international meeting about GHG emissions in Copenhagen in December.

I remain skeptical that regulation will be passed, or if it does pass, it will be implemented years in advance, say 2013 or 14. Pragmatism and entrenched politics trumps idealism and innovation in 2009.

1 comment:

Jamie said...

It depends on how you define idealism. For many, idealism revolves around the expanded freedom of choice. There is growing doubt about the effects man has on the environment, or at least thats what Gallup would have us believe.

I'd like to see more oil exploration, more big, safer cars on the road.