27 Dec 2010

Anything but water


The Pasadena Pundit said...

Re: Explaining How Green Taxes Work

Here is how they work in California. The Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) mandates up to 30% of electricity must come from Green Power. Wind and solar farms are being built to meet this mandate. But wind and solar energy will not reduce air pollution in California's smog traps of its coastal urban air basins. It will reduce air pollution in Utah, Nevada and Arizona where California gets it imported power. Neither will wind and solar farms located in windy high deserts of California reduce smog in California's congested urban areas (see David Caryle, Air in California).

And the California Air Resources Board's (CARB) cap and trade program also will not reduce air pollution. This is because it is prone to having polluting industries buy pollution credits from industries and power plants already located in areas that are not smog traps. So the reduction in air pollution will be mainly symbolic.

Cleaning the air in Nazi Germany was also accomplished mainly for aesthetic and political purposes (see the book The Power of Nazi Aesthetics). This does not mean that CARB are Nazis. But the taxes imposed by Green Power and Cap and Trade will result in no real improvement in air quality or beneficial effects on health but will be enforced in a near-totalitarian manner. So a pollution tax is money that vanishes into thin air.

And you thought that Wall Street was the only entity that could vaporize your money? Money is being rendered useless by hollow environmental bureaucratization that is of no benefit.

This is how pollution taxes work in the real world, not the closed world of some economics comic book.

David Zetland said...

@PP -- Stuart McMillan (the cartoonist http://www.stuartmcmillen.net/about/) is not an economist. He's also not an American. Thus he is not the straw man you are looking for. As an economist from California, I fully approve of your vision of the dysfunctional outcome from CA32. Oh, and most of the disaster can be laid at the feet of politicians, not economists.

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