Harvard economist Ken Rogoff asks Can Good Emerge From The Gulf Oil Spill?
Rogoff, the author of This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, calls for a large and direct carbon tax suggesting that:
“a carbon tax is far more transparent and potentially less prone to the pitfalls seen in international carbon-quota trading”.
He starts his editorial suggesting:
“Perhaps it is a pipe dream, but it is just possible that the ongoing BP oil-spill catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico will finally catalyze support for an American environmental policy with teeth. Yes, the culprits should be punished, both to maintain citizens’ belief that justice prevails, and to make other oil producers think twice about taking outsized risks. But if that is all that comes out of the BP calamity, it will be a tragic lost opportunity to restore some sanity to the United States’ national environmental and energy policy, which has increasingly gone off track in recent years.”
Most serious people realize that the complex financial shenanigans in Cap and Trade proposals, like the multi-thousand page health and financial reform packages coming out of Congress, are rife with counterproductive details written by lobbyists. As Rogoff suggests, our country is ready and waiting for politicians to create strong, direct, simple and unambiguous solutions to the problems we face. Hopefully, as he suggests, the massive oil spill in the Golf of Mexico might encourage to get serious about meaningful solutions like the direct carbon tax he advocates.