“Pacific Coast Collaborative” Sends Kitzhaber Back to the Future

Last week Governor John Kitzhaber joined with other political leaders in the Pacific Coast Collaborative to call for a carbon tax. This announcement coincided with the official opening of California’s “cap-and-trade” program for reducing carbon emissions.

 

It’s not clear why Gov. Kitzhaber thought it was a priority to fly to San Francisco to make this announcement. Apparently, he’s forgotten that the Oregon legislature considered a “cap-and-trade” program in 2009, and the bill couldn’t even get out of committee – despite the fact that Democrats had a supermajority that year. Like elected officials in most other states, Oregon legislators correctly determined that “cap-and-trade” is just a fancy way of saying “carbon tax,” and taxing energy would be enormously unpopular with voters.

 

The governor is also overlooking the fact that just last year, Oregon left the Western Climate Initiative, a multi-state coalition expressly established in 2007 to facilitate carbon regulation across the West and into Canada. Oregon departed for the same reason every other western state besides California did: Taxing carbon is a political loser. No one outside the far-left environmental movement cares.

 

The job of any governor is to be a leader. Calling for carbon regulations that have been rejected multiple times is the opposite of leadership. Surely Gov. Kitzhaber can find something to do that’s more relevant to Oregon’s future.

John A. Charles, Jr. is President and CEO of Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

Worried About Climate Change? Promote Free Markets!

Todd Wynn
Cascade Commentary

Worried About Climate Change? Promote Free Markets!

by Todd Wynn

Every day more and more Americans are growing skeptical of the climate change doomsday claims and plans to ration energy through cap-and-trade type proposals. Despite this, many environmentalists still claim that far-reaching government intervention is needed to achieve greater energy efficiency and lower greenhouse gas emissions to reduce the threat of global warming. Although there has been no statistically significant global warming since at least 1995, the same groups often claim economic growth and lack of comprehensive environmental regulations have created a society that wastes energy and pays no regard to greenhouse gas emissions. But what if less energy use and lower greenhouse gas emissions are a byproduct of limited government and economic freedom? What if environmentalists’ goals can be reached by freer markets and prosperity? Recent Cascade Policy Institute research shows that very phenomenon.

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NEW REPORT – Economic Freedom: A No Regrets Strategy for Reducing Global Energy Consumption

Todd Wynn
Economic Freedom: A No Regrets Strategy for Reducing Global Energy Consumption

A new report from Todd Wynn of Cascade Policy Institute

Summary:

This empirical study exposes a relationship between greenhouse gas intensity, energy intensity and economic freedom. The level of a country’s economic freedom is a statistically significant and negative determinant of both energy intensity and greenhouse gas intensity. Countries with higher levels of economic freedom not only have more energy efficient and less carbon intensive economies, but over time these countries continue to decrease the amount of energy used and the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per unit of production. The merits of free markets and economic prosperity should not be overlooked as a potential method for reducing carbon emissions.

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Climate Change Alarmists in Hot Water

Todd WynnCascade Commentary

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Summary: We are told that the earth is the hottest it has been in thousands of years and humans are to blame. But what if the science behind climate change was exaggerated? What if temperature records have been manipulated or cherry-picked? What if climate scientists are unsure about past temperature history? It appears that this is the case.

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When Good Companies Go Alarmist

Todd WynnQuickPoint!


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Several corporations recently cancelled their membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over differing views on cap-and-trade legislation. The Chamber of Commerce wants to pursue a rational debate over the direction the nation should take on climate change legislation. Corporations like Nike, Apple and Exelon subsequently left the Chamber of Commerce for a number of reasons. “Saving the planet” is probably not one of them.

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Hazy Implications of Cap-and-Trade

Todd WynnQuickPoint!


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Despite the uncertainty involved with future climate predictions, the federal government is now poised to pass a cap-and-trade program that will attempt to reduce human-emitted greenhouse gases. Because a cap-and-trade program is essentially an energy tax, the program would have an enormous effect on Americans by increasing the costs of almost everything that is needed or desired in our daily lives. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans do not have a clue about what a cap-and-trade program actually is and thus are unable to voice their possible concerns.

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Federal Climate Bill Will Intensify Oregon’s Recession

Cascade CommentaryTodd Wynn

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Summary: Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 2454, known as the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 or the Waxman-Markey bill. If also passed by the Senate and signed by the President, the bill would implement a federal cap-and-trade program. Advocates of the bill have proclaimed that it will be an opportunity to create a new clean energy sector that will be a boon to the United States’ weakened economy. Unfortunately, this isn’t true.

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Oregon’s Little Carbon FootprintBy Todd Wynn

QuickPoint!Todd Wynn

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The threat of human-induced climate change is driving public policy towards attempting to reduce human emissions in the state. It is important to put Oregon’s “carbon footprint” into perspective in order to understand that state emission reduction policies make no economic or environmental sense.

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