Bono’s Lesson on Cap-and-Trade


Do as I do, not as I say. That is the teachable moment in Bono’s green New York Times column Sunday. While there is little to learn from the U2 lead singer’s vapid car-design musings (see post here), his Irish band’s reaction to tax incentives demonstrates how green cap-and-trade laws will impact carbon-intensive industries.

Of course, the fashionably green singer applauds cap-and-trade (or a direct carbon tax). But when the Irish government in 2006 imposed a “cap” of 250,000 Euro ($360,000) on tax-free incomes for artists (since 1969, Ireland has encouraged artists with a blanket tax exemption), U2 moved its business operations — the band is reportedly worth $660 million — to the Netherlands lest it be socked with a multi-million-dollar tax bill..

Will American companies move their operations to non-capped China or India if their emissions are taxed? Bono provides your answer.


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