Regulation Breeds Innovation

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Brad Plumer takes a look at this chart of patents for sulfur dioxide-control technologies for electric power plants. Basically, despite years of R&D funding, what it took to really get the innovation train rolling was congressional regulations. Point being that, yes, it will require technological innovation to reduce carbon emissions enough to keep climate change under control, but you get that innovation by imposing the regulatory mandate. In short, cap and trade it and they will come.

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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