Friday, February 24, 2012

When Does “It Will Hurt the Poor” Outweigh “It’s Good for the Environment?”

“Nearly every environmental policy hurts the poor the most,” say Iain Murray and David Bier of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Writing recently in the Washington Examiner, they don’t limit their criticism to absurdities like federal tax credits for the $100,000 plug-in Fisker Karma (“a bold expression of uncompromised responsible luxury.”) The two analysts have it in for any environmental policy that would raise the price of anything—cap-and-trade programs for carbon emissions, clean energy mandates, light bulb regulations, the works.

To be sure, some of the policies they list have their flaws, as I would be the first to concede. What I would like to focus on here, though, is when “it will hurt the poor the most” is an independently valid objection to otherwise sound, market-based environmental policies. I am inclined to say that it never is. Here is why: Read more>>>