This post by Brad Johnson was first published at Wonk Room.
In today’s Wall Street Journal, pollution heir and right-wing politician Pierre S. “Pete” du Pont IV launches an attack on green economy legislation, claiming that “our nation’s energy policy may seriously change for the worse.” Worse than the conservative energy policy of increasing dependence on foreign oil and deadly coal, increasing drilling and climate disasters? Du Pont’s most absurd complaint is this attack on President Obama’s plan for carbon market revenues:
But rather than creating a new subsidy, wouldn’t we be better off distributing those revenues to the American people, who would have to pay the carbon tax through higher-priced electricity and manufactured goods? Such an idea was recently offered by author Peter Barnes: send the trillions of dollars received from the companies buying the permits to people as a “cap-and-trade dividend” in the form of equal personal checks for all Americans. The Obama administration thinks the opposite-that a majority of the money raised by cap-and-trade should be sent only to taxpayers making under a certain amount as a part of his Making Work Pay credit.
The “cap-and-trade dividend” proposal, supported by Obama allies like Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), recommends distributing carbon market revenues to 100% of American households. Obama’s proposal “” which du Pont calls “the opposite” “” returns 80% of the revenues to 95% of American households.
C’mon, Pierre. What definition of “opposite” are you using?
Even if the Wall Street Journal, like the Washington Post, refuses to factcheck its conservative op-eds, you could do better than that.
[JR: I'd add that du Pont's views are so extreme that he thinks quoting Myron Ebell of the uber-denialist and long-time-ExxonMobil-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute makes his argument more credible, rather than instantly dismissable (see "CEI campaigns to destroy the climate for centuries."]