James Hansen Hopes Waxman-Markey Cap and Trade Bill Fails: Has He Lost the Plot?

james hansen photo

photo: World Development Movement

It's no secret that climate expert and increasingly vocal anti-coal activist James Hansen is no fan of carbon cap-and-trade. He's come out on a number of occasions supporting the idea that a carbon tax (and dividend) system is the best method of carbon pricing. And at last weekend's 350 Conference at Columbia University he took a further step, saying that he hopes the proposed Waxman-Markey climate legislation fails:According to an It's Getting Hot in Here repost of Environment & Energy Daily's account of Hansen's remarks he,

... told an audience at a conference hosted by Columbia University climate policy students that cap and trade is a scheme devised by Wall Street that will do nothing to alleviate the global warming problem.

"Trading of rights to pollute introduces speculation and makes millionaires on Wall Street," Hansen said in his keynote lecture at Columbia University's 350 Climate Conference held here Saturday. "I hope cap and trade doesn't pass, because we need a much more effective approach."

Hansen also stands opposed to so-called "cap and dividend" proposals that would introduce pollution trading and a near full auctioning of emissions, with proceeds from the auctions going back to the public. Instead, Hansen proposed a "tax and dividend" approach to tax fossil fuels at the point where they are extracted from the ground, to set a firm price on carbon. Proceeds from the tax, rather than from the auctioning of allowances, would then be distributed to consumers.
"It could be implemented in one year, as opposed to decades with cap and trade," he said. "The bureaucracy is very simple."

Hansen's remarks obviously won't sit well with many in the green community. Joe Romm says Hansen's opposition to Waxman-Markey is "ill-conceived and unhelpful" and that he should "get over it." What do TreeHugger readers think?

via: It's Getting Hot in Here
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