Climate & Energy

Climate & Energy

House Republican leader continues to distort costs of cap-and-trade

As David noted yesterday, the figures Republicans are using to malign the cap-and-trade plan that Democrats put out this week are utterly, certifiably false. But that didn’t stop Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) from repeating …

Business & Technology

U.S. government paying industry to pollute

Chris Hayes has a blockbuster scoop up on The Nation: “Pulp Nonfiction,” about how the U.S. government will pay the paper industry up to $8 billion this year to emit more carbon dioxide. Yeah, you …

Climate policy myths

Myth: Democrats support good climate policy and Republicans oppose it

Energy and climate scramble the usual left-right political divisions. Many of the big fights are not among parties but among regions and levels of government. In the U.S. Congress, to be sure, the Republicans=obstructionists formula …

Climate policy myths

Myth: Unlike cap-and-trade, a carbon tax is simple, immune to manipulation, & politically palatable

A strange-bedfellows political coalition, everyone from the CEO of Exxon to climate scientist James Hansen, supports a carbon tax as an alternative to cap-and-trade. Tax proponents allege that cap-and-trade is too complicated; too friendly to …

Climate policy myths

Myth: Consensus on policy is possible even among those who disagree about climate change

John McCain popularized this notion during his ill-fated presidential campaign, assuring skeptical conservative audiences that whether or not they believed in climate change, they should support clean energy policy. The appeal is clear enough: climate …

Climate policy myths

Myth: Europe’s experience shows that cap-and-trade can’t work

It is now widely acknowledged that Europe’s carbon trading program — the ETS — made several key mistakes in its initial trial period. The system covered a narrow slice of the EU economy, yielding a …

Climate policy myths

Myth: Solving climate change is primarily about finding cleaner sources of energy

Wind! No, “clean coal“! Biofuels! No, natural gas! Idiots, it’s all about nuclear! Conversations about tackling climate change are perpetually dominated by disputes over which cleaner energy sources will substitute for today’s dirty energy. What’s …

Climate policy myths

Myth: Using less energy = sacrifice

Mention “reducing demand” to Average Jane American and she’ll assume you mean conservation:  turning off lights, drying clothes on a clothesline, riding a bike to work, wearing a sweater when it’s cold inside. And when …

Climate policy myths

Myth: Tackling climate change requires fundamental technological breakthroughs

No myth has done more to lull Americans into complacency or allow bad actors to fight off good policy. The American people are deeply attached to the notion that any problem can be solved with …