What do you think about cap and trade systems? That’s the question we asked in our last newsletter after discussing the waxing and waning of support for cap and trade after the past couple of decades.
And the survey results reinforce the fact that this is a confusing, messy issue. On the issues of whether or not they provide positive environmental benefits or whether they are effective at reducing the cost of regulating the environment, respondents were pretty much split.
Furthermore, while the majority of people felt that we should go ahead and implement new programs despite a poor economy, because they would promote innovation and job growth, many disagreed. And just to secure the point that there’s a lot of variables to consider, several of you offered comments about the viability of a carbon tax instead, how we decide what to cap and where the cap is set, and how cap and trade could be applied globally.
One thing everyone agreed on, however, was that we need more evidence on the effectiveness of cap and trade programs. Unfortunately, with waning political support for national cap and trade and uncertain futures for regional initiatives, we aren’t likely to see that evidence any time soon.