There is no free lunch, especially if air pollution is killing you

Former Congressman Bob Inglis’ essay calls for conservatives to believe in the “power of free markets” and support a tax swap that creates a carbon tax because operators of power plants should be accountable for their actions. Inglis writes, Because conservatives know that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, we know that we’re [...]

Energy subsidies in a free market

Bob Inglis’ call to “simultaneously eliminat[e] all subsidies” for energy is another way that he believes we can use the “power of free markets” to make better choices about energy use. Although “subsidies” are often discussed, it is a concept that is hard to pin down. The World Trade Organization definition of a subsidy amounts [...]

Six ways to help price signals deliver energy savings

As discussed in the main post, Price signals don’t always work, creating a meaningful connection between energy price signals and consumers is challenged by a number of market barriers. Those market barriers are particularly acute when it comes to energy waste (but are also present for customer-sited renewable energy); overcoming barriers to energy efficiency requires [...]

Price signals do not always work

Bob Inglis’ call to rely on a carbon tax as the main weapon to fight climate change is based on the idea that price signals, or the “power of free markets,” are central to the solution to climate change. Paradoxically, ensuring that price signals connect meaningfully with the energy consumer often requires government regulation, mandates, [...]

Delving into the disputes about free market climate policies

This post provides notes and further explanation for the main post, Free market perspective already dominates the climate policy debate. Note 1 (on the equivalence of cap and trade to a carbon tax): Sebastian Rausch and his colleagues at MIT write that, “A cap and trade system with fully auctioned permits is equivalent in impact [...]

Free market perspective already dominates the climate policy debate

As Grist’s David Roberts might remind us, Bob Inglis’ recent climate change commentaries are a throwback to an era when policy and appeals to self interest had a role in national politics. A year after reasoned debate abruptly surrendered to unhinged anti-environmental sentiment, Bob Inglis’ perspective is barely heard by the most vocal members of [...]

A closer look at a free market solution to climate change

Former U.S. Congressman Bob Inglis (R – SC) once again provoked organized climate change denialists with his recent essay, “Conservative Means Standing With Science on Climate” (Bloomberg Businessweek; a similar essay appeared in USAToday). Responses to his essay have been surprisingly muted; energy lobbyist Mark McKenna offered a superficial riposte, ClimateProgress simply re-posted the piece [...]

Climate at the Crossroads

Two years ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Congress’ first-ever climate legislation to reduce carbon pollution by implementing a market-based trading mechanism known as “cap and trade.” Despite the support of the President and a majority of American people, this climate policy became hopelessly stalled in the U.S. Senate and today we seem further [...]

SACE Guest Blog with Bill McKibben

We’re Hot as Hell and We’re Not Going to Take It Any More Three Steps to Establish a Politics of Global Warming This blog posting features an article by 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben that has been posted everywhere from TomDispatch.com to Grist.org to the L.A. Times. This provocative piece shows us how to change the dynamics of [...]

Live in Copenhagen: Rep. Blackburn plays politics at the expense of the planet

It was with great disappointment that I watched the congresswoman’s republican response to the President’s weekly radio address last Saturday. She is now in Copenhagen as part of the U.S. Congressional Delegation. Her grandstanding appears to be more aimed at her growing Sara Palin wannabe ambition and appealing to the hard right teabag wing of the [...]