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tv   Washington Journal Stephen Stromberg  CSPAN  March 6, 2019 2:56am-3:30am EST

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it failed pretty famously in 2010, the first time they really tried to push, the democrats tried to push hard to pass climate change legislation. it has actually been ample minded in europe -- been implemented in europe and california. a number of other states and jurisdictions around the world have accepted a carbon pricing program of some kind. we would say they have not been ambitious enough. priceed to put a higher on carbon dioxide emissions to reduce the amount of pollution that is put into the air. the concept is not some kind of new untested thing. it has been used. it has been used to cut down on
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acid rain, the chemicals that cause acid rain in the 1990's. it is not out of left field. host: how would you describe how cap and trade works in layman's terms? guest: cap and trade essentially says you are admitting a lot of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, we want to reduce the on a set schedule. we want to know how much pollution the economy is producing in a given year and ramp that down. we put a cap. every year, there is a cap on the amount of pollution you can put into the atmosphere. underneath that, you say if you want to in it a ton of carbon dioxide -- two emit -- some other kind of industrial process, you have to give the government an allowance that allows you to do that. that allowance will cost you money.
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you can go to a market and purchased the allowance. essentially, it does come into criticism because people say, it is allowing people the right to people to buyg the right to pollute. the cap decreases over time. the allowances get more expensive. the nice thing about this that economists will tell you is that this is the cheapest way to do it. it is the way to get the most benefit from every dollar you are spending. that is the real genius of a cap and trade program or a carbon tax program. host: if i am the company, i am going to do what i can to reduce the emissions on my own. guest: that is exactly a factor. what is efficiency driving about this is that at some companies -- is that some companies will fairies -- will face low cost
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for whatever they are doing. other companies will face high costs. the companies that face low cost , they will stop emitting carbon dioxide. the others that value being able to put carbon dioxide into the air, they will buy the allowance. over time, they will get the signal that they will need to change over time. the cheaper stuff happens first. then you give the hard stuff more time to occur. you send this price signal throughout the economy. it affects companies and consumers. the price ofrs, gas might go up a bit. people will feel less likely to take unnecessary trips. people will see they have more of an incentive to weatherize their homes. the price of electricity will go up. -- ita comp ranz of plan
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is a comprehensive plan. you do not have to go sector by sector and say, in this sector, we are going to mandate this. in fact, you are sending a price signal to everybody. that is part of what makes it so effective. host: this is stephen stromberg, editorial board member of the washington post. our first call comes from gregory in california. democrats line, you are on. caller: hello, stephen. climate change solutions are going to lie in the details. i have three detailed ideas i would like his thinking on. we have heard of transit oriented development. how about transit only development. the government does subsidized low market housing for people who will forgo car ownership.
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there will not be any parking spaces. they will get a transit pass. we had 10 years ago, here's another one. clunkers.h for how about a lifetime transit pass for your clunker? that would be much more effective. this was in the 2009 stimulus sponsored it was not, by senator dianne feinstein. one more, pay how you drive car insurance. . let's reward people for driving ,n a way that is moderate, safe and fuel-efficient, which is also less carbon into the atmosphere. host: thank you for that. we will let our guest respond. guest: thank you for your call. you raised some really important point. in our really clear peace that a cap and trade program would not do everything
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that would need to be done. one of the areas where the government would need to invest we think heavily and smartly would be in public transportation. you bring up some innovative ideas for how to incentivize people to use public has rotation to develop -- to use public transportation to develop ways to use it. only the government can provide an effective alternative top people who might not -- to people i might not be served as well by private alternatives -- people who might not be served as well by private alternatives. and other thing i would bring up is zoning law. making sure that cities are smartly using the land they have and allowing for density in a way that american cities have not in the past. that is a local issue. fundedtransit is
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federally. it is also a local issue. a five pagejust bill. the government has to have an active role in public transit and other areas. i went to make that clear because some of the criticism -- i want to make that clear because some of the criticism we have got, you are ignoring all these places where a carbon pricing program, there would be gaps. there would be things it could not do. that is in some cases true. --are not saying this is there is efficiency. energy efficiency and how the government encourages more efficient appliances and cars. there is a lot out that has to be done.
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up to peoplel be theirregory working with local representatives and with -- and also appealing to congress to find the smartest ways to make that happen. host: the independent line from north carolina, this is richard. caller: good morning. green newly think the deal is another way to expand the size of government, tax people, we straight personal preferences on issues -- tax people, restrict personal preferences on people. the climate is always changing. in recorded history, our paleontologists tell us there have been five ice ages. where i live used to be under an ice cap. the world is warming. we would be better served if we
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spent our time and money trying to figure out how to live with the possibility of what the climate is doing. do not get me wrong. i am all in favor of green everything and recycling and whatnot. i think we are doing other things that are much worse to the climate and environment such as building monster houses on the coastline and expecting the sea level not to rise. guest: thank you very much for your call. i was a couple of things. view isew is that our -- our view is that the climate change crisis is real and the nce is positive on this. the climate is always changing. that is not mean that humans are not aiding and abetting and driving the change. if you look at the speed with
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which of the climate is changing, it is unprecedented in the geological history of our. their -- of the earth. there is more than a scientific basis. there is a wealth of scientific information and evidence nfluence on humans' i the climate. say someone says you have a 50% chance or 30% or 10% chance or 5% chance your house is going to burn down. you buy insurance to protect against that threat. even if you're not quite convinced that the scientists are absolutely right about how fast warming is going to occur, the severity of the effects, you do want to have insurance thatst the possibility they could be underestimating how bad it could be. they could be underestimating as
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well as overestimating how bad it could be. there is a very good case even if you are skeptic to say, by some insurance. spend some money. make sure that the really bad outcomes do not occur. having said that, once you accept the imperative, you have to try to figure out, how do you do this in the most effective way? how do you carbonized in the most ambitious way? net zero by mid century or so. how do you do that? avoid what, try to richard is worried about. big government. that youoid mandates do not necessarily need. government programs and spending you do not necessarily need. really focus on the prize.
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that prize is cutting carbon dioxide emissions. the way to do that efficiently, economists have been clear for years, is through a carbon pricing program. that should be the core of any green new deal. the green new deal is silent on carbon pricing. that is part of our concern. that it is not going to be an efficient omma effective way -- efficient, effective way to get to the goal. it is available online if you want to read more of the ideas they present on this topic. brian, go ahead. caller: a lot of us would like to do the things you're talking about. the reality of it is we have to get our fiscal house in order. when i was in high school in the 1970's, we were 400 -- we were $450 billion in debt.
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we are a failure at capitalism. even under trump, we are spending $1.1 trillion a year. more than we have. we cannot chew gum and walk at the same time. you have to get the fiscal house in order. then, we can talk about the things you are talking about. we are not even paying off the juice on the principal on the money we are barring. it should -- we are borrowing. it should scare the hell out of every american. no one else on this earth has this credit card. guest: thank you very much for your call. take the physical state of the country very seriously. in fact, one of the genius things about this plan is that it raises money for the federal treasury. if you have a carbon tax or a
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cap and trade program, there is revenue involved when people by the allowances that is needed to emit urban dockside into the air -- emit carbon dioxide into the air. there is a lot of revenue. some of that we would say needs to be recycled back to people so that low income people who are hit hard by high energy costs would be made whole or better. even middle income, high income people who are low energy use rebaters would get a that is substantial relevant to how much the tax would hit them. you invest money in research and development so that you can develop the technology that is going to cheaply and efficiently hopefully d carbonized the economy -- d carbonized -- decarbonize the economy and get
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us there. you have a huge amount of money left over you can use for public transit or green infrastructure if you wanted to. there is going to be so much say,over that you could let's put that towards paying down the debt. let's put that towards reducing the tax burden on people in a efficients cutting an -- cutting and inefficient tax. you can have that trade. in the bipartisan version of this bill, that kind of trade will be key because you will have to say, we are raising this through this cap and trade or carbon tax program. what are we going to do with that? republicans, tell us what tax would you like to cut? walking and chewing gum is an option under this plan.
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it is just not one that people often necessarily think about because they are so focused on the decarbonization side of it. host: this is the piece from february the 24th. how did this start? clear we have been very about carbon taxation and cap and trade. favoring it for years. as editors overall. haveis new is that we since the beginning of the obama administration, we have had a new upsurge in interest in the green new deal. that is a new term in fact, but a new upsurge in interest on energy focusing on the climate issue. we are seeing more and more extreme weather. scientists are getting better at saying, it would not have been as bad probably without climate
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change. houston would not have been as flooded without the intense heat in the gulf of mexico. scientists are able to draw these connections. you also have a rising lineal generation that grew up with the science of climate change. -- a rising millennial generation that grew up with the science of climate change previous generations did not necessarily -- science of climate change. previous generations the not necessarily have that education. factors, therewo is a sense that this is impending. reaction that and the to president trump and his denial of the problem is another factor. you mix that altogether and you have a surge of progressive energy on this. our hope is that it is channeled into the most effective
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policies. that was the inspiration for the piece. host: the republican line, this is from oklahoma. james, hi. caller: hello, this is james. wanted to make a comment saying that we need to follow through with what we are doing now. we have public transportation buses. we do not need to spend a whole bunch of money. we just need to address what we have and build electric and get vehicles that do not pollute the air and get rid of the gas burning vehicles. make our corrections as we grow. inc. you. -- thank you. that thereare right have been changes in the economy. they have led to changes in the
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emissions picture. the burning of very cheap theral gas has changed emissionsr u.s. although there is some debate about how much and how good the transition has been. there has been a change in what fuel has been burned there are zero emission -- has been burned. there are zero emission vehicles that have been rolled out. on the horizon are self driving cars that could reduce emissions from the transport sector. there are innovations that are occurring. the scaleef look at of emissions cuts that are required will show you that it is not -- it is a drop in the ocean. you should not underestimate the massive nature of the change.
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not just how we drive, and also where we get our electricity. we still burn a lot of coal in this country. coal is one of the worst environmental billings -- environmental villains ever discovered. in terms of changing the chemistry of the atmosphere that warms the planet. the task is a lot bigger than sitting back and watching a few teslas getting sold. you really have to have a government intervention. we would say, find a government intervention. use the intervention that works with markets rather than against them. that creates market forces and incentivizes people to buy more fuel-efficient cars. incentivizes people through prices to weatherize their home.
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problem in a this scientistsat the suggest is necessary. host: jeremy is in wisconsin on the independent line. caller: yes, thank you for c-span. this question is fairly simple. if your publication would expound on more -- the situation would make more sense. i appreciate your time. what you arethink -- i think what you are saying is, the green new placeould get us to a with emissions that science would suggest is safer than other proposals that would not
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necessarily get us to a goal of zero net carbon so quickly. before, the tricky thing there is, there is a trade-off over decarbonize inc. over arbonizing decade. where we are spending our money and the practical ability to change the infrastructure, it is not a decade-long process. it is longer than that. one thing we reacted to and part of the reason to write the piece is that there is not -- is to say that there is not a choice. deal as ocassio cortez has proposed and doing nothing. in fact, there are a range of
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choices that are more reasonable than doing nothing or accepting this new path. ideas -- how do you follow-up? guest: this has been a campaign we have been on for a long time. this is one of the most spectacular examples of an editorial line we have been pushing for a while. we will be following up. we follow the signs very closely. we have been writing a lot about studies that -- for example, ice sheets in the antarctic. to deal withw ways climate change and carbon emissions. we cover all of this. this is going to be -- a lot of times in the trump era, you can get caught up in running on the
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treadmill of the daily news. this is a long-term issue and there are other issues that get pushed off to the side because it's not the immediate -- there wasn't necessarily a tweet about it. aboutare sometimes tweets climate change but it's been relegated and it should not be because it's a really crucial issue long-term. stromberg, here are some places yoike
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barrasso chair of the full committee. >> good morning. thanks everyone for being here today. this hearing of the clean air and nuclear safety subcommittee is called to order. first i'm going to turn to senator barrasso to make a few comments. >> thank you mr. chairman before we begin i want to take a moment to congratulate the senator on holding his first hearing is the

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