June 2, 2011
John Bryson, President Obama’s nominee to head the Commerce Department, told a University of California Berkeley audience in 2010 that a cap and trade system was a good way to hide a carbon tax from the public.
Bryson, formerly the CEO of Edison International, said that a carbon tax was the new “third rail” of politics because politicians wouldn’t want to tax energy directly.
“I think it’s still unlikely there’ll be a carbon tax bill because I think in the end a very high percentage of the members of Congress think it’s kind of the third rail to support a tax, even if it’s a carbon tax,” Bryson said.
“Greenhouse gas legislation, either with a tax or with cap and trade – which is a more complicated way of getting at it but it has the advantage of politically sort of hiding the fact that you have a tax – but that’s what you’re trying to do,” he added.