Reality-free Cap and Trade?

Over at Prometheus, Roger Pielke picks on Nancy Pelosi:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) adds to a long series of comments by Democrats that emphasize cost as a crucial criterion for evaluating cap and trade legislation, and specifically, that there should be no costs:

‘There should be no cost to the consumer,’ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said Wednesday. She vowed the legislation would ‘make good on that’ pledge.

Of course, cost-free cap and trade defeats the purpose of cap and trade which is to raise the costs of energy, …

Pelosi’s comment sounds like fantasy, but it’s out of context. If you read the preceding paragraph in the linked article, it prefaces the quote with:

Top House Democrats are also considering a proposal to create a second consumer rebate to help lower- and middle-income families offset the higher energy costs of the cap-and-trade program.

It sounds to me like Pelosi could be talking specifically about net cost to low- and middle-income consumers. It’s hard to get a handle on what people are really talking about because the language used is so imprecise. “Cost” gets used to mean net cost of climate policy, outlays for mitigation capital, net consumer budget effects, energy or energy service expenditures, and energy or GHG prices.  So, “no cost” cap and trade could mean a variety of things:
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