By Addie Goss
Laramie, WY – One of the creators of the "cap and trade" idea lives in Centennial, Wyoming, and opposes the current use of cap and trade as a tool to combat climate change. Tom Crocker is a retired University of Wyoming economist. He came up with cap-and-trade as a graduate student in the 1960s. Crocker says it is especially effective for emissions that are highly damaging in large quantities... for example, the precursors to ozone. "The damages they impose increase quite rapidly, the health impacts, the botanical impacts, have what you will. And in those circumstances one wants to be rest assured that that threshold is not exceeded."
Crocker says in those cases, cap-and-trade is a good idea, because it limits the flow of emissions. But he disagrees with the current use of cap-and-trade to combat climate change. That's because it's not that important to control the flow of carbon dioxide at any given time. It's the total stock of C-O-2 in the atmosphere that does the damage. And Crocker says a carbon tax is more effective at reducing emission stock.