Thursday, May 8, 2014

Cap and Trade Legislation

The following was written in April 2014, as part of a response to the Campaign for Liberty's 2012 survey questionnaire for candidates running for federal office.

12. Will you oppose so-called “Cap and Trade” legislation?

     Yes, I will oppose all proposed federal “Cap and Trade” legislation.
     I will oppose all federal legislation to regulate carbon emissions and carbon offset exchanges – and the environment in general – in the United States (outside of the District of Columbia and the overseas territories) without a constitutional amendment authorizing such regulation.
     The federal government cannot afford the $100 to $200 billion in annual spending which such a nationwide scheme would entail, nor to risk corruption through the personal and business favors which would inevitably be involved in such an expensive undertaking.
     However, I believe that climate change is an imminent threat to civilization, and I agree with the narrow majority of Americans who believe that the environment is more important than employment and the economy. This majority has communicated signals on the marketplace for environmental goods and services and policy that fossil fuel use is not an ordinary “market good” because it is a “market bad” which must be discouraged; legislators must heed these signals.
     I will encourage state and local governments to discourage pollution through enacting their own Cap and Trade type legislation, while fully taxing the unimproved value of land. This will empower governments to punish those who pollute and cause the blighting of landed property, and allow it to fall into disrepair (resulting in a loss of value) and moreover could eventually allow states to eliminate taxes on income and sales while fully funding government.

     I will support legislation providing for the regulation of carbon emissions only in areas over which the federal government has constitutionally authorized exclusive jurisdiction. I will also urge all governments of the world to achieve zero carbon emissions (which are not offset) within fifteen years, and I will urge U.S. states to become unilateral signatories to the United Nations Kyoto Protocol on pollution.

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