Now, imagine you're a lawmaker and you have a major hand in crafting sweeping legislation that will revolutionize the manner in which energy is produced and consumed. What if you crafted legislation without really knowing how it would come out? Welcome to the wonderful world of cap and trade. In response to the manner in which off sets will work in cap and trade, here's how Collin Peterson, chairman of the Agriculture Committee, characterized it.
The truth is, nobody knows for sure how this is going to work."Let's try a couple more hypothetical situations. Imagine you meet with your financial planner. They lay out your retirement plan, plan to save for your child's college fund, and other investments, insurance, and financial services. Then they say, "the truth is nobody knows for sure how this is going to work".
Imagine you go in for major surgery. Your surgeon explains the procedure, the recovery, and all the drugs that will need to be administered. Then, the surgeon says, "the truth is nobody knows for sure how this is going to work".
Would anyone wind up working with either of those folks? Yet, despite a startling and honest admission, the Democrats are ready to move forward on this bill even though, clearly, they don't know how it will work.
Peterson was referring to the system of offsets
a program that would allow covered sources to purchase measurable and verifiable emissions reducing credits from sources outside the capOff sets are crucial to cap and trade for a number of reasons. First, the whole point is to move our energy production from that which emits C02 and other pollutants to that which doesn't. Furthermore, in order to gain consensus, the Democrats have compromised to exclude many energy sources that might in fact emit carbon but were protected by powerful interests. For instance, Peterson's vote was only received after major concessions were granted to farmer's energy sources.
So, how will this system of offsets work in the new cap and trade bill? Well, as Congressman Peterson points out.
the truth is, nobody knows for sure how this is going to workDoesn't that just fill you will confidence about how well cap and trade will serve its intended purpose? After all, the road is littered with bills that wound up doing things no one intended. Sarbanes Oxley is a great example. Going back further, Smoot Hawley was an even better example. Far too often, Congress passes a bill that winds up having all sorts of unintended consequences. Here, we know this will happen because Peterson says as much.