BAUCUS ON CAP AND TRADE: "COSTS OF INACTION WOULD BE FAR GREATER."

The Senate Finance Committee is holding hearings on cap and trade today. And Baucus starts it off with a nice point. "Action would not be without cost," he admits. "But the costs of inaction would be far greater."

That's really the key insight. No one advocates a cap and trade program or a carbon tax because it seems like fun. No politician pushes these proposals because they're a surefire ticket to reelection. It's simply that if we don't do something, the consequences could prove disastrous. There are, of course, some opponents of action who simply deny the reality of global warming altogether. Asking for their cooperation is like asking a Christian Scientist to help reform the health care system. But then are those who admit the reality of global warming but spend their time talking up the downsides of all the policies that would actually reduce carbon emissions. Of all the positions on the table, that one's actually the most dishonest and nakedly opportunistic.

Baucus's full remarks follow the jump.

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