Free Cap-and-Trade System Beats Carbon Tax, Study Finds

By Susanne Rust

As governments try to figure out the best way to get carbon polluters to invest in and produce cleaner energy, two scenarios continue to come forward: cap and trade vs. carbon tax.

A new study from UC Merced and the University of New South Wales in Australia suggests that a free and uninhibited cap-and-trade system is the best way to go. The authors argue such a system will “trigger adoption of clean technologies at a considerably lower level of carbon prices” as compared with a tax system.

In addition, the study concludes that the higher risk and volatility of an unhindered market “are likely to induce suppliers to take early action to hedge against carbon risks.”

Continue reading

Deconstructing the Drought

A new report disputes some alleged impacts to the Central Valley from water restrictions, reveals others

(Photo: Craig Miller)

Blame the housing recession, not water restrictions. That’s the conclusion of a new report from the Oakland-based Pacific Institute, which scrutinizes the connection between cutbacks in farm water deliveries and Central Valley job losses during California’s recent three-year drought.

Impacts of the 2007-2009 California Drought: What Really Happened? is described by its authors as a “nine-month assessment of new data from California’s agricultural, energy, and environmental sectors.”

Its main finding, that “Farm job losses were largely unrelated to water constraints,” appears to be a direct refutation of claims by Congressman Devin Nunes (R-Fresno), and others, that regulatory and court-ordered restrictions on water deliveries have caused “massive unemployment” in the San Joaquin Valley. Continue reading