The cap and trade legislation that is set to sail through the House of Representatives is watered down, and imperfect, but it’s the best solution to environmental problems, says Paul Krugman.
While the cap and trade plan is getting battered from both sides–environmentalists and global warming deniers–Krugman says most objections are trifiling matters.
On a straight tax over a cap and trade: They’re equally effective at cutting emissions, but cap and trade can be globally integrated. Think about China using a tax scheme. It could let some factories off easy. With cap and trade we can monitor total emissions from the nation.
On the handed out permits: Sure the bill gives away 1/3 of the carbon credits. So does the SO2 reduction program and that’s working well.
Most importantly, cap and trade can affect real change. The bill could result in the equivilent of 500 million cars being pulled from the roads. If environmentalists want to fight that, then they’re making “the perfect the enemy of the good.”
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