Letter to the Editor

Democrats think they are on a roll

Friday, March 6, 2009

To the Editor:

The Democrats in Congress think they are on a roll after passing the recent stimulus bill. But we can't let the urgent economic needs of this country create a snowball effect of bad legislation.

One example of such a mistake is the push for a cap and trade carbon policy.

This would create an artificial market open to manipulation and speculation, without the assurance of doing anything for the environment.

I don't know how legislators can even bring up such a scheme at a time when millions of Americans are out of work and businesses are struggling to survive. A cap and trade policy would add billions of dollars in energy costs, without reducing emissions. In addition, it would require the creation and funding of a government bureaucracy to try to regulate against speculators.

When there aren't real market forces to contain prices, regulation and oversight are the only options. But as we have seen with recent financial scandals and the speculative run-up in the price of oil last summer, regulation and oversight don't work. Investors lost their entire life savings in the case of financial scandal. Instead, we need a simple, transparent carbon tax that will reduce our emissions, without the political "gaming".

We cannot afford the additional costs and resultant loss of jobs the cap and trade scheme would bring. Congress must stand firm against this bad idea.

Paul Hoffman