John Tierney’s item yesterday on the New York Times site was noteworthy for a few reasons. Tierney is already looking ahead to the next climate bill, which he expects will not be a reprise of Lieberman-Warners cap-and-trade — or “pork-and-trade” – but instead a cap-and-dividend scheme in which carbon taxes are remitted to citizens based on the size of their carbon footprints. [A scary prospect for me, as I sit here typing in air-conditioned comfort at home, rather than on National Review’s Con Ed meter.]
Interesting, too, was Tierney’s lengthy quote from Bill Tucker’s American Spectator piece on nuclear power and carbon taxes. Tucker suggests that energy realists support climate-change legislation in order to buy environmentalist support (or at least quiescence) for new nuclear projects.
Instead of standing on the sidelines, why not use the opportunity right now to extract a promise from major environmental groups that they will not oppose new [nuclear] reactor construction. This is no small matter. Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Defense have never openly endorsed nuclear (they will only call it “one option”) and are armed to the teeth with lawyers. The Nader groups and Greenpeace (or is it “Greenwar”?) will oppose nuclear whatever happens, but a declaration of support from mainstream environmental groups would isolate them on the fringe.
I’d like to see the steam rising from cooling towers before I conceded anything on the carbon-legislation front. The likelihood for having the likes of Harry Reid renege on such a deal is just too great, so let them concede first and give us a decade or so to get the ball rolling — and the concrete pouring.
Most interesting, though, was to find Watts Up With That posts once again linked in Tierney’s reader-response section.