Comments

  1. #1 James Hrynyshyn
    March 4, 2009

    Rogers sounds like a reasonable guy, but Duke Energy is still building coal-fired plants. Rogers can’t have it both ways. So long as we’re building more coal plants, there’s no way Rogers can claim to be doing what’s needed to address climate change.

  2. #2 Itzac
    March 4, 2009

    My parents told me stories about there bein’ smart people on the TV, once. I never believed ‘em ’til just now.

  3. #3 Brian D
    March 4, 2009

    Rachel’s raised the bar on the American cable networks several notches. She’s a self-professed massive policy geek – even though she never mentions her poli-sci doctorate, it’s still there. I recall at one point she caught one of her guests in a misrepresentation because she’d actually read the draft bill in question, understood it in all its legalese glory, and remembered it well enough to deliver a deathblow on the fly. Can’t seem to find the video, though.

    It’s a shame that Rogers, here, had to resort to several of the old canards. He seems to take issue with the 100%-auction bit of the cap-and-trade, but neglects to note that giving away permits was one of the reasons the European cap-and-trade system hasn’t been very effective (and thus we can learn from their mistakes, if folk like Rogers would let us). If the goal is to reduce atmospheric carbon, then Rachel is absolutely right.

  4. #4 Lou FCD
    March 4, 2009

    At the end of the day, Rodgers still ducked Maddow’s question.

    Why do the consumers have to take the hit for the permits? His answer was that prices are set by state governments. So how ’bout Mr. Rodgers not lobby the state governments to raise the rates? I’m sure the politicians would love the opportunity to tell constituents that they kept the rates the same, the consumers would love to not have their rates raised… so why is there the implicit assumption that the states would raise rates?

    Seems there was still the very subtle implied threat that we were going to pay to make sure that Mr. Rodgers’ pockets stay maximally full.

  5. #5 Greg H
    March 5, 2009

    Ditto on the kudos to Maddow. I don’t know whether Rogers will seek something along the lines of the European treatment of incumbents, which was surely problematic. I think Rogers does make a valid point that a failure to think through regional differential effects of a zero-based auction might have a backlash. Policy purity that doesn’t get enacted (or worse, repealed) won’t help very much.

    Re the consumer price increases, it’s not really a political or even a pricing decision by the utility. Subject to whatever changes deregulation may have brought about in individual states, the rate regulators take as inputs the costs the utilities incur to provide service and output a rate schedule that will cover those costs (including a return on capital, i.e., profit). Conceivably, the federal legislation might include a provision that constrains some portion of auction costs from inclusion in rate filings. If Maddow had been at the top of her game she might have gotten to this.