Martin Feldstein argues against the Cap & Trade bill in congress:
Americans should ask themselves whether this annual tax of $1,600-plus per family is justified by the very small resulting decline in global CO2. Since the U.S. share of global CO2 production is now less than 25 percent (and is projected to decline as China and other developing nations grow), a 15 percent fall in U.S. CO2 output would lower global CO2 output by less than 4 percent. Its impact on global warming would be virtually unnoticeable. The U.S. should wait until there is a global agreement on CO2 that includes China and India before committing to costly reductions in the United States.
Obviously, this is a judgment call. I think, given the century and a half headstart we've made on industrialization, it's going to be much easier to get China and India to agree to CO2 reductions if the United States goes first. Many climate policy experts agree, as do the Obama administration and Congresswho, after all, have little incentive to impose painful energy reductions that they don't think can help spur international agreement. There may be an argument on the other side. But Feldstein doesn't make that argument. He just says we should wait.
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