August 13, 2009

THE AMERICANS WILL KILL IT FOR US:

Australian Senate rejects curbs on greenhouse gases (Associated Press, guardian.co.uk, Thursday 13 August 2009)

If the Senate rejects legislation twice in three months, Australia's constitution allows prime minister Kevin Rudd to call a snap election before his three-year term has expired.

Such an early election fought on the issue of climate change is expected to favour Rudd's center-left Labor Party, which opinion polls suggest remains far more popular than the centre-right Liberal party opposition.

Analysts expect that if the Senate knocks back the legislation again in November, Rudd could call an election early next year.

Senate Liberal leader Nick Minchin, who commands the largest voting bloc in the upper house chamber, said the bills should be put "in the deep freeze" until after the Copenhagen meeting and a US Senate debate on American emissions permit trading.


Cap-and-Trade's Unlikely Critics: Its Creators: Economists Behind Original Concept Question the System's Large-Scale Usefulness, and Recommend Emissions Taxes Instead (JON HILSENRATH, 8/13/09, WSJ)
In the 1960s, a University of Wisconsin graduate student named Thomas Crocker came up with a novel solution for environmental problems: cap emissions of pollutants and then let firms trade permits that allow them to pollute within those limits.

Now legislation using cap-and-trade to limit greenhouse gases is working its way through Congress and could become the law of the land. But Mr. Crocker and other pioneers of the concept are doubtful about its chances of success. They aren't abandoning efforts to curb emissions. But they are tiptoeing away from an idea they devised decades ago, doubting it can work on the grand scale now envisioned.

"I'm skeptical that cap-and-trade is the most effective way to go about regulating carbon," says Mr. Crocker, 73 years old, a retired economist in Centennial, Wyo. He says he prefers an outright tax on emissions because it would be easier to enforce and provide needed flexibility to deal with the problem.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 13, 2009 6:20 AM
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