A “Brown” Domino Effect?

Chris Christie doesn’t want New Jersey to be part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.  Free riding is in vogue.   Arizona quit the WCI in 2010.  This coalition of the willing is fraying a pinch.   With Federal Carbon Cap & Trade legislation on the very back burner, it is up to a few liberal coastal states to be the “green guinea pig”. It is starting to look like California will be last experimental lab.   I want to see California’s AB32 go forward and see the start of a serious carbon cap & trade program in January 2012.  The California Air Resources Board spells out many of the details here.    What will be the economic consequences of such pro-active actions?  They won’t be large.  The cap will tighten only gradually.  The big point here is to commit to a credible goal and signal to CO2 producers that there will be a rising price (over the next 20 years) for releasing emissions.  Capitalism’s innovation engine will figure out how to handle these “new rules of the game”.   Rob Stavins has posted a perceptive post about AB32 here.

Author: Matthew E. Kahn

Professor of Economics at UCLA.

3 thoughts on “A “Brown” Domino Effect?”

  1. Or, capitalism’s rent-seeking political corruption engine will undermine and destroy all efforts to impose constraints on the corporate plutocracy’s determination to externalize costs and re-distribute income upward, always upward, and costs and hazards always downward, even when the total cost/hazard is multiplied by the effort.

    Viewed as a horse race, this is not going well. Neo-liberal technocracy is proving to be a bad trainer and a worse jockey, with a bad tendency to dope their own mount and bet with the wrong people, on the other horse.

  2. Neo-liberal technocracy is proving to be a bad trainer and a worse jockey,

    And their choice of announcer to call the race is worst of all.

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