Obama Trade: Carbon Tax for Keystone XL?

Will Obama advance his climate agenda forcing business and Republcians to swap approvals of Keystone XL and/or natural gas exports for a carbon tax and more?

From Kim Strassel’s WSJ column today:

… Republicans might recollect that the Obama administration has a practiced method of winning controversial legislation like ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank. To wit, it uses a combination of bribes and threats to get pertinent sectors of the business community to back its efforts.

Consider what the mighty oil-and-gas lobby might be co-opted to do—either out of gratitude for the president’s backing or fear that he might turn on it. Consider how the political environment might change if the industry threw its weight behind a carbon tax or the EPA climate scheme. Consider that this might prove an easy call, given that a tax would be borne by its customers, while EPA regs will mostly crush coal. Consider that numerous Big Oil chieftains have already endorsed such a carbon levy. And who says Mr. Obama has to decide Keystone XL or anything else soon? He could hold out, to see what he can extract in return.

All this is food for thought for those conservatives who have been lulled into complacency by the stall of cap and trade. A big climate agenda is coming, only on very different terms. If Republicans hope to spare the economy that pain, it’s time to adapt.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal (subscription required).

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