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Argument: Cap-and-trade can respond flexibly to global warming

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Felix Salmon. "The Carbon Tax Debate: Why a Cap-and-Trade System is Better". Portfolio. 13 Nov. 2007 - "the most compelling argument is the flexibility/optionality argument. Think of a cap-and-trade system, Pizer says, as a big machine with a whole bunch of dials. "You can dial certainty on the cap versus certainty on the cost, and you can dial free allocations versus auctioned allocations," he says. By fiddling with the controls, you can basically get anything you want – which is a crucial feature given that we really don't know exactly what problems the cap-and-trade system is going to be asked to solve in the future. If Congress is worried about the price uncertainty inherent in a cap-and-trade system, they should be much more worried about the cost-of-environmental-damage uncertainty inherent in global warming mechanisms – something which demands flexibility in terms of our response."

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