Before the Senate vote, politicians and the public alike should consider the experience of the strikingly similar “emissions trading system” (ETS) in place in the European Union since 2005. The European version has succeeded only in raising energy costs to consumers, even as emissions continued to rise.
The sad fact is that both President Obama and the Democratic Congress are misleading the public. Alternative measures such as a carbon tax have not been considered precisely because their costs are transparent and obvious to the public. By contrast, cap-and-trade allows the President and Congress to claim credit for “taking action” on global warming without acknowledging the real costs that entails — costs which the public, when informed of the facts, is rightly unwilling to accept.