By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - 0 Comments
About midway through his State of the Union Address last night, Barack Obama turned to climate change and put the following to Congress.
I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago. But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.
What did John McCain and Joe Lieberman propose? Cap-and-trade.
So the President’s preferred policy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions would seem to be cap-and-trade. (Note: this would also seem to mean he differentiates between cap-and-trade and a carbon tax, which his office dismissed in November. And so dies a talking point.) If Congress fails to act in that regard, he will presumably move forward with regulations.
That’s basically the opposite of the Harper government’s position. Having proposed and pursued a market-based solution (cap-and-trade), the Harper government now advocates government regulation as its preferred policy while loudly and repeatedly claiming that cap-and-trade would be ruinous for the country.
By Steve Maich - Wednesday, July 23, 2008 at 10:34 AM - 0 Comments
Just about every day, I continue to get letters and emails from readers, about…
Just about every day, I continue to get letters and emails from readers, about this column from a few weeks ago, in which I argued that speculators are not really to blame for the soaring price of energy. Whatever role they play in the market tends to be positive, eliminating pricing inefficiencies and generally smoothing the rise and fall of futures contracts. The price increase is due to high demand, stretched supply and a shortage of refinery capacity.
It was, um, not a crowd pleaser. The general consensus among my correspondents is that speculators are evil, they are trying to ruin the lives of innocent ordinary folk, and dorks like me should lose our journalism licenses.
Well, the U.S. government task force charged with getting to the bottom of the speculator scandal issued its report yesterday. Bottom line: speculators aren’t to blame. The oil price is the result of high demand, stretched supply and a shortage of refinery capacity. Never easily daunted by mere facts, the Senate voted unanimously(!) to press ahead with debates aimed at curbing price speculation in the futures markets.
We do not want to hear that we are the cause of the oil price rise. And politicians do not want to be the ones to press that unpopular reality. So off we go to bizzaro world, where the facts don’t matter. Only emotions do.
By Steve Maich - Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 1:31 PM - 0 Comments
My most recent column isn’t online as yet… but I can tell you it’s…
My most recent column isn’t online as yet… but I can tell you it’s all about the nonsense coming out of congress and elsewhere, blaming “speculators” for the run-up in oil prices. I confess, I have been susceptible to this thinking in the past too. But the evidence is mounting that speculators have little or nothing to do with soaring energy costs. Here”s yet another new story in which the industry’s biggest minds keep telling us to ignore Joe Lieberman and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Yert another sign of the times, which I came across on Paul Kedrosky’s amazing blog. Also from Bloomberg: If speculators are driving the oil price, why has oil continued to climb when speculative activity in the futures market peaked almost a year ago?