Cap and Trade

CAP AND TRADE….Tom Friedman, in a faux “report” from the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence to President Ahmadinejad, notes that it’s unlikely the United States will break its addiction to oil anytime soon:

True, thanks to Nancy Pelosi, the U.S. Congress decided to increase the miles per gallon required of U.S. car fleets by the year 2020 — which took us by surprise — but we nevertheless “strongly believe” this will not lead to any definitive breaking of America’s oil addiction, since none of the leading presidential candidates has offered an energy policy that would include a tax on oil or carbon that could trigger a truly transformational shift in America away from fossil fuels.

This is flatly untrue. All three of the leading Democratic candidates have proposed cap-and-trade plans that auction 100% of their CO2 permits. This is, economically speaking, essentially the same thing as a carbon tax.

If Friedman is aware of this, he should say so. If he’s not, he should get his facts straight. It’s certainly arguable that there’s not much chance that a cap-and-trade plan will become law anytime soon, but that’s due to Republican intransigence, not because “none of the leading presidential candidates” has offered one. The Democrats have all done exactly that.