The Washington Post’s editorial board writer Stephen Stromberg points out some problems with Portman’s anti-“cap and trade” ad he released today.
And by “some problems” I mean it’s full of crap.
His plan relies on “support” — read: subsidies and other government interventions — for things that he likes — corn ethanol, nuclear power, natural gas, coal.
Some of these things might become an essential part of weaning the country off fossil fuels. Or not. We don’t really know, and that’s the point of cap-and-trade and other carbon pricing proposals — take the decisions regarding which green technologies prosper out of the hands of lawmakers with incentives to spend Americans’ money on parochial interests; instead, send a price signal to consumers and the companies that serve them, spurring private individuals to find and invest in the cheapest routes to a greener economy.
On his Web site, Portman criticizes “command-and-control” regulation from Washington. He mentions refraining from choosing winners and losers in the energy debate. He says he doesn’t want Washington “to stifle the ingenuity of American enterprise and our market system through government interference.” But inefficient government interference is his plan.
The editorial notes that the “taxes” collected from cap-and-trade is refunded back to the individual consumers, leaving mostly whole from cost perspective. A key detail the column notes Portman’s attack on cap-and-trade leaves out. It also leaves out that unlike cap-and-trade, then, Portman’s plan is not paid for.
Ironically, the column makes the case that cap-and-trade puts more faith in the free market to determine who the economic “winners” and “losers” should be in our national pursuit for cleaner, renewable energy and weaning off our dependence on foreign oil than Portman’s plan would be.
Rob Portman should know about how Washington policies can kill jobs in Ohio.
After all, he’s supported them his entire political career in D.C.