Obama is just blowing smoke

June 21, 2010 | Ted Nordhaus, Michael Shellenberger,

Last week brought more bad news for supporters of cap and trade climate legislation. It came in the form of an appearance by House Energy and Commerce Chairman Rep. Henry Waxman's appearance on PBS' "The Tavis Smiley Show." When asked how cap and trade would create technology innovation, Waxman said, "When we raise the price of energy -- which will happen if we reduce the amount of carbon emissions -- and industries have to figure out how to live in a carbon-constrained environment, they are going to have to figure it out because it is in their profitable interest to figure it out."

Waxman's blunt statement that the goal of cap and trade is to raise energy prices was deeply off-message for green groups, which have long insisted that energy efficiency and conservation would prevent energy prices from rising. But it was only the latest in a series of setbacks for climate legislation.

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