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基思·亨尼西(Hennessey)的博客

美国前国家经济委员会主任、乔治·布什的首席经济顾问Keith Hennessey

 
 
 

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解析“气候工业合成体”  

2009-05-28 12:27:57|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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[点击查看Keith Hennessey的英文博客]

 

众议院能源与商业委员会在上周五的立法报告中称要在美国建立一个温室气体排放量的总量管制交易体系。针对这一话题,我想引用隆伯格(Bjørn Lomborg)和 曼昆(Greg Mankiw)最近所写的一些文章做一些拓展。隆伯格博士在上周五的华尔街日报中发表了一篇关于发展气候工业合成体的文章,曼昆也提出了一项关于碳税的基本定理。

总量管制和交易=碳税+公司福利

企业为什么要支持这样一部会提升能源成本,增加管理负担,延缓GDP(国民生产总值)增长的立法呢?我认为有6个原因:

1.我们是高尚又利他的。贵公司的领导真诚的关注严峻的气候变化所带来的威胁以及对于整个世界所造成的影响。

2.我们需要在立法协议桌上拥有一席之地:你相信立法很容易,并且可能会以一种不良方式直接影响贵公司。你们认为得到公众支持,就可以更好地影响立法进程。你们试图买通主要国会议员,以便得到气体排放的税收抵免或避免伤害。这就是曼昆提出的企业福利点,也是隆伯格的气候工业合成体论点中的核心要素。

3.如果碳的价格更高,我们将会盈利:如果你们生产风力涡轮或建核电站,那么碳价将有利于贵公司业务的开展。如果你是一家相对于竞争对手来说,生产相对较低碳含量燃料的能源公司的话,你就可以从高碳价中盈利。或者说如果你为制造商,能从碳含量低的原材料中获取能源,而你的竞争对手却在产煤国,那么,他们将会由于碳价而受损,而你将相对获利。

4.如果在美国能源成本提高,我们将会盈利:如果你是一家生产操作依托于早已拥有碳价的欧洲国家的外资公司,你可以通过在美国自主制定碳价与其竞争场上的碳价持平。

5.我们不依托贸易挣钱,所以我们在总量管制交易体系中盈利:如果你是一家不依托建立或参与贸易体系盈利的金融公司,那么总量管制交易体系将有利于贵公司业务的发展(碳税除外)。

6.绿色是很好的营销手段:绿色很流行。绿色产品好卖,即使你的产品与能源或气候无关。这既适用于公司层面也适用于管理层面。一些CEO可能会希望将他们自己置于引导公司朝绿色方向转变的角色。

每一个支持碳价提议或者是任何详细的提案(包括《马基和维克斯曼法案》)的公司都必然会声明他们是高尚并且利她的,因而受第一个原因的驱使。我们既不能支持也不能反对这些其他的、支持立法的、更加自私的原因。但是至少我们可以确认这些出于公司形势考虑的可能会存在的其他动机。

理论上来讲,碳税对于立法寻租问题(原因2)只会像总量管制交易体系那样脆弱。你可以尽量游说,试图获得头几年的碳税豁免,或者是得到一个特别批示可以免除现有能源生产能力。有时候通过分配胡萝卜而不是棍子建立联盟会更加容易,并且总量管制交易体系允许立法委员分配胡萝卜。

要注意第三、第四和第六个原因可以依存于任何碳价格。形式(碳税或者总量管制交易体系)跟这些动机不相关。

当你听说像X和Y这样的公司支持《马基和维克斯曼法案》,或者是Z公司支持总量管制交易体系,是因为他们关心这个星球的时候,浏览一下其余5个可能的动机,看看是否其他的动机也适用。它们可能会提供一个关于公司状况的更可信的解释。

 

 (翻译纠错。读者发现任何翻译错误请发邮件给我们,谢谢:caijingblog#126.com 将#改为@)


 

英文原文(地址:http://keithhennessey.com/2009/05/26/unpacking-the-climate-industrial-complex/):

 

The House Energy & Commerce Comittee reported legislation last Friday that would create a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.  I’d like to expand a bit on some recent writings by Bjørn Lomborg and Greg Mankiw about this topic.  Dr. Lomborg wrote in last Friday’s Wall Street Journal about a developing “Climate-Industrial Complex,”  and Greg has proposed a Fundamental Theorem of Carbon Taxation:

cap-and-trade = carbon tax + corporate welfare

Why would a firm support legislation that would raise power costs, increase regulatory burdens, and slow GDP growth?  I can think of six reasons:

  1. We are noble and altruistic:  Your firm’s leadership is genuinely concerned about the threat of severe climate change and what it could mean for the world.
  2. We need to buy a seat at the legislative bargaining table:  You believe that legislation is likely to happen and directly affect your firm, probably in a bad way.  You think that by publicly supporting legislation, you will be better able to influence the legislative process.  You are trying to buy access to the key Members and Congressional staff so you can get emissions credits or avoid pain.  This is Greg’s corporate welfare point, and a core element of Mr. Lomborg’s Climate-Industrial Complex argument.
  3. We make money if carbon is more expensive:  If you produce wind turbines or build nuclear power plants, then a carbon price is good for business.  If you’re a power company that produces relatively low-carbon fuel relative to your competitors, then you benefit from a high carbon price.  Or if you’re a manufacturer that gets its power from a low-carbon source, and your competitors are in coal country, then they are harmed and you are (relatively) helped by a carbon price.
  4. We make money if power costs increase in the U.S.:  You’re a foreign firm with operations heavy in European countries that already have a carbon price.  You would like to level the playing field by creating a carbon price in the U.S.
  5. We make money off trading, so we make money in a cap-and-trade system:  If you’re a financial firm that would make money off establishing or participating in a trading system for emissions credits, then a cap-and-trade system is good for business (but a carbon tax is not).
  6. Green is good marketing:  Green is popular.  Being green helps sell stuff, even if your stuff has nothing to do with energy or climate.  This can apply both at the firm level and at the CEO level.  Some CEO’s may want to personally position themselves as leading their firm in a green direction.

Every firm that supports a carbon price proposal, or any specific bill (including Waxman-Markey) will, of course, claim they are noble and altruistic and therefore motivated primarily by reason 1.  We can neither prove nor disprove these other, more self-interested reasons for supporting legislation.  But at a minimum, we can identify possible additional motivations for the firm’s position.

In theory a carbon tax could be just as vulnerable to legislative rent-seeking (reason 2) as a cap-and-trade:  you could send your lobbyists to try to get your firm exempted from the first N years of a carbon tax, or to get a special rule that would exempt existing power production capacity.  It’s sometimes easier to build a coalition by allocating carrots rather than sticks, and a cap-and-trade allows the legislative authors to allocate carrots.

Note that reasons 3, 4, and 6 exist for any positive carbon price.  The form (carbon tax or cap-and-trade) is not relevant to these motivations.

When you hear that businesses like X and Y are supporting the Waxman-Markey bill, or that firm Z supports cap-and-trade because they care about the planet, run through these five other possible motivations and see if any also apply.  They may provide a more credible explanation for the firm’s position.

[Keith Hennessey的中文博客]

 

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