Dr. Robert Zubrin argues here that “cap and trade” is likely to increase carbon production and will make us more, not less, dependent on energy controlled by hostile regimes. Zubrin writes that
by imposing a costly tax on the U.S. economy, cap-and-trade will cause American-made goods to cost more, allowing them to be displaced to an ever greater degree by those manufactured elsewhere, most notably China. As a result, the American economy will contract while the Chinese economy expands at U.S. expense. Since an even larger fraction of Chinese electricity and industrial process heat comes from coal than does American, the net effect of the cap-and-trade system will therefore be to increase the total carbon emissions released into the Earth’s atmosphere, not decrease it. However not only will Chinese industrialists obtain a larger market share for their products, they will be able to charge more for them, since their competition will be priced even higher. Thus the big losers overall will not only be American manufacturers and workers, but the world’s poor.
It is very unfortunate that the Obama administration has embraced a policy so thoroughly lacking in merit as cap-and-trade. If the goal is to reduce carbon emissions, this could be effectively advanced by removing obstacles to expansion of nuclear power. Instead, the administration has acted to dramatically reinforce such obstacles, most notably by halting the development of a permanent nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.