'A market-based solution' - Macleans.ca

‘A market-based solution’

Guess who wants to implement cap-and-trade?


About midway through his State of the Union Address last night, Barack Obama turned to climate change and put the following to Congress.

I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago. But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.

What did John McCain and Joe Lieberman propose? Cap-and-trade.

So the President’s preferred policy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions would seem to be cap-and-trade. (Note: this would also seem to mean he differentiates between cap-and-trade and a carbon tax, which his office dismissed in November. And so dies a talking point.) If Congress fails to act in that regard, he will presumably move forward with regulations.

That’s basically the opposite of the Harper government’s position. Having proposed and pursued a market-based solution (cap-and-trade), the Harper government now advocates government regulation as its preferred policy while loudly and repeatedly claiming that cap-and-trade would be ruinous for the country.


‘A market-based solution’

  1. “…. market-based solution to climate change…. ”

    Market based solutions should mean the introduction of new technologies to fight climate change, not introduction of new taxes. Only socialists talk about taxes as market based solutions.

    I would be interested to learn why hydrogen fuel cell technology has been mostly sidelined. I work in auto industry and carmakers put much $$$ in developing fuel cell technology – they had working prototypes – and then American government put its money into electric batteries and fuel cells were pushed to one side. Technology exists, still being fine tuned by German and Japanese companies, that would be game changing technology but Governments need to help with building a new infrastructure to deliver hydrogen.

    Why is there such a focus on wind and solar – technology has been around for centuries and it is ineffective – when we can develop new products that would be significantly more effective. Green types are often reactionaries who are scared of modern world and find solace in thousand year old technology like windmills.

    • Market-based means dollars and cents…..you are talking about technology-based solutions.

      We’ll get to fuel cell eventually….after we go through all the other stuff, and someone else beats us to it.

      Fuel-cell after all eliminates gasoline, so we’ll do anything to put it off.

    • The main problem with hydrogen fuel cells, as I understand it, is that is takes so much energy to separate the hydrogen from the other atoms to which it is usually bound. You typically have to put in at least as much energy as you get out – so it is more an energy storage system rather than a new fuel source (much as with batteries). You still have to use traditional energy sources to generate the hydrogen – so the cells themselves may be clean but the input energy is likely to be the same ol’ polluting sources as always.

      As to taxes vs regs: regulations specify the how; taxes (and the avoidance of same) would not dictate the how and so could potentially lead to greater innovation than regs.