Thursday, April 11, 2013

I now get why Europeans are disgusted with the European Parliament

The European Parliament last week rejected a fix to their cap-and-trade system that would have set a bottom floor to the price of carbon, a floor that likely helped keep California's system functioning through a tentative start to a better shape (so far).

Among other things that are annoying is that European fossil fuel-dependent industries say that a floor will put them at a competitive disadvantage to Americans, an ironic repetition of what the same American industries say about Indian and Chinese competitors. In Europe's case it also happens to be a lie as far as California's concerned, and dubious in the case of New England (has an existing-if-low price for carbon, and plans to restrict allocations further).

So you've got a system that can work if you make it work. Demanding that the sausage making of government work as well as one's ideal proposal (like a carbon tax that would supposedly emerge unscathed from a political process) is unrealistic, but then the failure to improve the solution is just stupid. The only good aspect is that it's not over - the Parliament left open the door to reconsider their action.