Thursday, April 07, 2011

Eek! It's A Cap And Trade System!

Cap and Trade

So, the Liberals are proposing a Cap and Trade system for greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.

Predictably, we find the fearmongers in Alberta playing Chicken Little and calling it NEP 2.0.

Of course, one has to take this kind of hysteria with a grain of salt (or an entire salt flat, perhaps).

I'm not going to bother trying to defend the NEP - that was thirty years ago and the political and economic landscape in Alberta were dramatically different then than they are today.

I find it ironic that the "free market" types are all about "opportunity" without accountability - in spite of the disastrous results of such situations in the past (anybody else remember Enron, WorldCom and Lehman Bros?). As soon as it might affect the oh-so-precious oilsands industry in Alberta, their hackles go up - in spite of the fact that a cap-and-trade system will actually create a very interesting open market opportunity in the economy - while requiring a certain level of accountability on the part of all industry in Canada.

Considering that one of the big things I hear todays "conservatives" rattling on about is individual accountability, I find it amazing that they get all up in arms over that accountability when it applies to the megacorporations that are profiting from our resources.

In terms of the actual impact of this kind of policy, I'm going to have to agree with Andrew Leach, and say that we need to know much more about the details before we can make any kind of concrete assessment of impact.

Would I like more details? Yes. But I'm also realistic - a cap-and-trade system is a complex beast to design and implement - I doubt that level of detail exists with any of the party platform topics that have been put forward in the last 2 weeks from any party.

1 comment:

Nicole said...

Menzies seems to think that Cap & Trade = Carbon Tax = Taxing Hot Air = NEP 2.0.

Come to think of it, Menzies calls almost anything NEP 2.0. Environmental responsibility = NEP 2.0. Oil pipelines = NEP 2.0. Voting anything but HarperCon = NEP 2.0...