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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 4, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Cap-and-trade emissions

System will make U.S. less competitive

Columnist Paul Krugman is wrong in thinking America can afford a CO2 cap-and-trade program [“The junk economics surrounding action on climate change,” Opinion, May 2].

Obama’s plan to “cut the deficit in half” relies on $2 trillion in new revenue from 2010-2019. One-third is from CO2 cap-and-trade, and some estimates are two to three times that. This would be a burden on U.S. businesses that our global competitors will not face.

Cap-and-trade will not save the environment. Peter Huber, in a City Journal article, says, “We rich people can’t stop the world’s 5 billion poor people from burning the couple of trillion tons of cheap carbon that they have within easy reach. We can’t even make any durable dent in global emissions — because emissions from the developing world are growing too fast, because the other 80 percent of humanity desperately needs cheap energy, and because we and they are now part of the same global economy. What we can do, if we’re foolish enough, is let carbon worries send our jobs and industries to their shores, making them grow even faster, and their carbon emissions faster still.”

It would be better to get the facts and not just some intellectual opinions before we flush this country’s economy down the drain.

— Bob Benze, Silverdale

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