Responding to M.D. Harmon’s recommendation (“Maine should leave Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative compact,” March 28):
The cap-and-trade formula is not a tax. The nonprofit accounting institute rewards energy producers that successfully achieve efficiency goals. The auction of permits benefits the power companies that continue to use generation that exceeds the target standards.
The natural gas supply has some disadvantages that also must be analyzed. Most observers believe that Efficiency Maine and others have had a significant impact on conservation strategies that have reduced the use of fossil fuels. Rates are set by public utility commissions, and so failure to reach the efficiency goals is not automatically passed along to ratepayers. The incentive for industry is improving generation cost to realize more profit.
Concerning “dueling studies,” the Beacon Hill Institute is principally financed by the Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity and the Bradley Foundation, which have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to eliminate governmental regulations.
If one believes that global warming and climate change are harmless theories, one might accept Mr. Harmon’s opinions. If the consensus analysis of the world’s climate scientists is true, we need much more stringent policies to reduce the use of fossil fuels for energy production.