The Washington Democrats sent out an interesting tweet yesterday. Pointing out that China has a “market-based climate program,” the Democrats ask, “Why not WA?”
Beyond the absurdity of using an oppressive and corrupt regime as a point of comparison to our state, for the Democrat Party to suggest anything done in China is market-based reveals a basic misunderstanding of economics (and political science). Hello, the government controls everything in China, remember?
The Democrats’ tweet references the communist regime’s promise to launch a carbon market by 2016. Asking why Washington State doesn’t take its lead from China gives the tweet an attention grabbing shock factor, but it also reveals just how out-of-touch Democrats are with reality.
Carbon markets are breeding grounds for non-transparency and corruption—two significant problems with which China struggles. The European Union’s failed carbon market program—a program run by democratic governments with agencies in place to combat corruption and ensure transparency—was plagued by corruption. There’s an obvious question here: If a carbon market program run by governments with existing anti-corruption infrastructure succumbs to corruption, how much more will a carbon market run by a notoriously corrupt, authoritarian communist regime prove corrupt and unsustainable?
Democrats’ use of China as a point of comparison for Washington State is beyond foolish. China is by far the world’s biggest carbon emissions offender. China’s emissions from fossil fuels grew 150% from 1995 to 2010. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) projections indicate that, by 2030, China’s carbon emissions will surge to unprecedented levels—that’s despite President Obama’s one-sided, “historic” carbon deal with the communist regime.
China’s long-term and ongoing abuse of the environment is truly appalling. Air pollution threatens China’s economy (grounding flights and shutting down highways), the health of the population, and food supply (agriculture suffers from “nuclear winters”). Meanwhile, Washington State managed to reduce carbon emissions by 9.75 percent between 2007 and 2011—largely the result of a dramatic increase in hydroelectric power.
Democrats’ suggestion that Washington State should follow China’s lead is not only ignorant, it’s just plain insulting.