North Dakota is the Saudi Arabia of wind…. I’m going to keep pushing for policies in Congress that help us develop our wind resource for the benefit of the whole country.”
Hard to do more for wind than the stimulus bill did — other than pass something like the Waxman-Markey climate and clean energy bill (with a stronger renewable standard).
Dorgan has, however, now published an op-ed in The Bismarck Tribune with a headline that befits his 22% PrY, “Reduce our CO2, yes … but cap-and-trade, no,” but with contents that mostly suggest he might actually be a real fence-sitter — and a potential filibuster buster — if somebody actually explained the bill to him and worked to address his concerns.
Indeed, the sole objections he raises to the bill — the potential for Wall Street to engage in questionable derivatives tradings and speculative bubbles that might drive the price of CO2 soaring — are actually addressed in Waxman-Markey by multiple provisions (as I discuss here and reprint below). As an important aside, it would be almost impossible to write a bill reducing CO2 emissions that would not lead to “derivatives,” which, after all, include futures contracts and options.
If you are going to create a CO2 price — really the only way of reducing CO2 other than mandatory, command-and-control, sector-based emissions regulations (which it is impossible to believe Dorgan supports) — then Wall Street is going to create futures and options to allow companies to mitigate risk. And that’s a very good thing, as even conservative economists will tell you.
The only question is whether you design a system with checks and balances against fraudulent derivatives and speculation, which this bill does. No doubt it could be improved, and perhaps after someone explains the bill to him — Browner, Biden, Reid, Boxer … anyone? — Dorgan will join an effort to add more oversight.
Now, you might say that Dorgan isn’t interested in a real bill, that he is just positioning himself for a “no” vote. Well, if so, he has written a very strange op-ed. Let me excise all the “railing against Wall Street” stuff, and see for yourself: