In an apparent attempt at cuteness, the NYT’s Thomas Friedman wrote a column written as if it were an “Iranian National Intelligence Estimate of America” to Ahmadinejad from the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence
It included this bizarre assertion:
True, thanks to Nancy Pelosi, the U.S. Congress decided to increase the miles per gallon required of U.S. car fleets by the year 2020 — which took us by surprise — but we nevertheless “strongly believe” this will not lead to any definitive breaking of America’s oil addiction, since none of the leading presidential candidates has offered an energy policy that would include a tax on oil or carbon that could trigger a truly transformational shift in America away from fossil fuels.
Therefore, it is “very likely” that Iran’s current level of high oil revenues will last for decades and insulate our regime from any decisive pressures from abroad or from our own people.
Except, as Kevin Drum explained, Friedman has it backwards.
All three of the leading Democratic candidates have proposed cap-and-trade plans that auction 100% of their CO2 permits. This is, economically speaking, the same thing as a carbon tax.
If Friedman is aware of this, he should say so. If he’s not, he should get his facts straight.