By Steven Rattner
Yes, of course, we need a Green New Deal to address the world’s most urgent crisis, global warming.
Just, please, not the one that a flotilla of liberal politicians, including seven of the top Democratic presidential hopefuls currently in the Senate, are signing up for in droves, like children following the pied piper in the old legend.
Our modern-day pied piper, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is trying to lure us into a set of policies that might help save the planet but at the cost of severely damaging the global economy.
To be sure, by the time the resolution was introduced into Congress, some of its most ludicrous provisions (like the deadline of 2030 for a full transition to renewable energy and the immediate halt to any investment in fossil fuels) had been eliminated or watered down.
But as important as continuing to prune the absurd or damaging provisions would be to add what is the most effective way to attack climate change: using taxes and market forces rather than government controls to reduce harmful emissions.
Historically, the politics of even small increases in the gasoline tax have been tough. A 2017 proposal in the House to increase tax by just one penny went nowhere. But recent polls suggest that perhaps sentiment is changing; a survey by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago found that 44 percent of Americans favor a carbon tax while only 29 percent oppose one.
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