The Spectacle Blog

Clinton’s Impossible Energy Policy

By on 4.22.08 | 10:40PM

In her Pennsylvania victory speech, Hillary Clinton just said that she's the candidate who is fighting for everyone struggling to pay for the high price of gas. Yet she's also the candidate who not long ago declared that she would take the profits of oil companies -- surely a move destined to hike prices at the pump. The same is true of the cap and trade scheme she's proposed to address climate change. In fact, much of Clinton's energy policy slate would serve to make gasoline more expensive, not less. Virginia Postrel made this same point recently:

It's infuriating how all three presidential candidates prattle on about the need to fight global warming while also complaining about the high price of gasoline. The candidates treat CO2 emissions as a social issue like gay marriage, with no economic ramifications. In the real world, barring a massive buildup of nuclear plants, reducing carbon dioxide emissions means consuming less energy and that means raising prices a lot, either directly with a tax or indirectly with a cap-and-trade permitting system. (Alternatively, the government could just ration energy, but fortunately we aren't going in that direction.)


As I write this, Clinton is saying she wants the U.S. to be the country which "defies the odds and does the impossible" -- the bit about "impossible" being, I think, pretty key to understanding her energy policy.  

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