Defending Palin's Op Ed

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Ben Cohen
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My post on Sarah Palin's Op Ed seems to be generating a fair bit of controversy, and I've received dozens of emails about it already. It seems people are actually taking her article seriously, believing Palin's ideas for 'energy independence' are worth examining. Here's what one reader had to say:

OK,
let me get this right. You are also not a economic and energy expert,
but you pick Sarah Palin's editorial to use as a sounding board for
your discussion of Cap & Trade? Sounds to me like you are simply
looking for any reason at all to attack Sarah Palin.

Regardless of that, I hope the average American is smart enough to
realize that creating a whole new industry based on taking tax revenue
from companies and consumers can't be a good thing.

Especially when creation of that industry will do nothing to meet
its goal of reducing co2 emissions. China and India (the 2nd and 5th
largest producers of co2) refuse to participate. And guess what, they
are the fastest growing economies and will eventually be the largest
producers of co2. And where do you think all the companies in the US,
and Europe will move their co2 production? yes, to china & india.
Cap & Trade won't curb co2 emissions, it will simply alter
geographically where that co2 is emitted.

America has already lost over 7 million jobs in 16 months, Cap &
Trade will only accelerate that process. Good luck finding employment
in the US, especially in any manufacturing business, if Cap & Trade
passes. And, those of you who do hold onto your jobs, be prepared to
pay higher taxes and higher prices for everything you buy with your
paycheck.

This is an interesting criticism, and not without merit. I personally believe a direct carbon tax is the best way to reduce carbon emissions, and I'm not sold at all on the idea of cap and trade. The problem with the cap and trade system is that it is wide open to abuse and investor speculation, and could well be the next financial bubble. To read an excellent critique of cap and trade, check here. The details of the cap and trade system Obama is favoring have not been made public yet, but there needs to be some serious checks on financial companies to stop market manipulation.

In regards to Sarah Palin's piece, I was simply pointing out that her critique is a) wrong, and b) stupid. There's a legitimate debate to be had about energy independence and carbon reduction, but Sarah Palin isn't part of it.