In a letter titled “John Carlson gets it wrong when it comes to cap and trade” that was published on Web site Nov. 17, Cameron Peters claimed that John Carlson erred in criticizing the cap and trade legislation as being expensive to families.
Peters offered figures he said are from the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) and EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) that purport an annual cost of $80 to $180 to most families per year. He also claimed that the overall cost to our economy would be a “modest” 1-2 percent of GDP (gross domestic product).
First of all, Carlson’s figures of $1,500 to $2,900 per family per year are within the range of many cost figures that have been generated, including figures by the CBO. When dealing with figures related to government expenses, it is good practice to err on the high side.
Secondly, if we accept Peters’ claim that the cost to the economy will be 1-2 percent of the GDP, then that figure is not necessarily one that many people would characterize as “modest”. That is a lot of money, period.
Lastly, Peters took exception to Carlson’s statement that “The whole concept of the bill is to raise the cost of energy in people’s homes, cars and places of business.”
I ask how Carlson’s commentary effectively differs from Barack Obama’s own assessment of his agenda. In a videotaped interview to the San Francisco Chronicle last year, then candidate Obama said, “Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket, even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad, because I’m capping greenhouse gasses, coal power plants, natural gas, you name it. Whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retro-fit their operations. That will cost money; they will pass that money on to the consumers.”
Perhaps Peters’ letter should be re-titled with John Carlson’s name switched out for Barack Obama’s.