MidAmerican Chairman David Sokol was interviewed by Bloomberg today in Washington and the video appears at the end of this article. Mr. Sokol has been advocating for the elimination of the concept of trading carbon credits which is a central feature of the “cap and trade” system that is currently being debated in Congress. Mr. Sokol believes that the government should simply mandate a cap and public utilities and other carbon emitters should be forced to adhere to that cap. In his opinion, the concept of trading carbon credits would simply amount to an additional tax on consumers which he estimates at $120 per month for a typical family.
The Obama Administration and “Cap and Trade” advocates in Congress often promise to use funds raised by auctioning emission permits to offset the higher electric costs to lower income households. However, Mr. Sokol would prefer to have a system where this additional layer of costs are not imposed to begin with and attention is instead focused on the massive investments required to retrofit power plants to reduce emissions to meet the prescribed caps by the ultimate 2050 deadline.
MidAmerican is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway and a frequent subject on this website. An article appeared here last week regarding Mr. Sokol’s views on the housing market and the limited effectiveness of government actions intended to return the economy to prosperity.
Disclosure: The author owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. MidAmerican is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.