From Josh Barro at Business Insider:

Obama has only taken a heavy-handed regulatory approach because that’s what he can do without congressional action; if Republicans would agree to a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system, he’d gladly take that over the plan he laid out today.

The R Street Institute has been a lonely but relentless conservative voice on this issue. Senior Fellow Andrew Moylan wrote today:

Regardless of one’s views on climate change, the simple reality is that federal policy is going to address the matter. That can happen through ill-advised regulations, like those proposed by the President today, or it can happen through a vibrant market with clear price signals attached to all fuels. Conservatives should seize the opportunity to once again emphasize the superiority of free markets over central planning.

He’s right. But if the health care fight is any guide, Republicans are not likely to listen.

The Republican strategy of total resistance to health care reform led to a bill passing only with Democratic votes. That meant a bill that was less market-oriented than it would have been with Republican input.

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