The Costs of Cap and Trade

So-called “cap and trade” legislation has been in the news a lot recently. After all, President Obama has been talking about imposing such a system — one that would make a carbon tax look simple and fair by comparison — without using the appropriate legislative channels through Congress. Cap and trade would have a devastating impact on America’s economy both in the short and long terms.
Of course, Obama’s plan is not the only economically-harmful proposal out there. The Western Climate Initiative of which New Mexico is a member, imposes cap and trade…unlike Obama’s plan, the WCI has already been enacted and will start to take effect in 2012. Of course, supporters of the WCI argue that there will be no economic harm associated with the cap and trade system and that the members will actually benefit. Fortunately, as the Rio Grande Foundation released to the New Mexico media yesterday, there is an alternative and far more realistic economic analysis by the Beacon Hill Institute.
Among Beacon Hill’s findings are that “New Mexico could lose as many as 4,689 net jobs, $1.2 billion in personal income, and $219 million in per capita disposable income” under the WCI.