Wow. Today in the New York Time Paul Krugman praises Cap and Trade for having helped find ‘market based solutions’ to the Acid Rain problem of the 80s and 90s.
Only 3 or so links down, the Editorial Section blasts Cap and Trade and explains why it is a myth that this helped end Acid Rain:
The acid rain controversy of the 1980s was in many respects a dress rehearsal for today’s fight over climate change. Then as now, right-wing ideologues denied the science. Then as now, industry groups claimed that any attempt to limit emissions would inflict grievous economic harm.
But in 1990 the United States went ahead anyway with a cap-and-trade system for sulfur dioxide. And guess what. It worked, delivering a sharp reduction in pollution at lower-than-predicted cost.
The New York Times Editorial:
Supporters of cap and trade point to the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments that capped sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from coal-burning power plants — the main pollutants in acid rain — at levels below what they were in 1980. This legislation allowed power plants that reduced emissions to levels below the cap to sell the credit for these excess reductions to other utilities whose emissions were too high, thus giving plant owners a financial incentive to cut back their pollution. Sulfur emissions have been reduced by 43 percent in the two decades since. Great success? Hardly.
Perhaps the NYtimes has rebuked an Opinion piece in the same days better, but we can’t think of another example like this.