Wednesday, June 04, 2008

 

Cap & Trade

A power grab by the political class at the expense of ordinary Americans

And its a contemptuous power grab at that. From a National Review editorial:
But there is a group of people conspiring to make energy more expensive for Americans. That group is the U.S. Senate, and this week it will debate a bill that would impose a cap-and-trade system on greenhouse-gas emissions. By rationing the use of fossil fuels, the bill would lead to higher coal, natural-gas, and petroleum prices, even though the prices of those commodities are already at historic highs. Everybody knows about oil prices; less well known is that the price of natural gas recently reached its highest point since Hurricane Katrina disrupted supplies in September of 2005. Coal prices have tripled in the past year due to global shortages.

In short, now would be an exceptionally bad time for Congress to make energy more expensive. Yet that is precisely what the cap-and-trade bill sponsored by Sens. Joseph Lieberman and John Warner would do. Under a cap-and-trade system, a company can only emit greenhouse gases up to a certain limit (the “cap”). If it exceeds that limit, it must purchase allowances, either from the government or from other companies that are under their limits (the “trade”).
Senator James Inhofe calls for a full Senate debate on the bill, noting that it is the "largest expansion of the federal government since FDR's New Deal, complete with a brand new, unelected bureaucracy."

Robert Samuelson comments:
The chief political virtue of cap-and-trade -- a complex scheme to reduce greenhouse gases -- is its complexity. This allows its environmental supporters to shape public perceptions in essentially deceptive ways. Cap-and-trade would act as a tax, but it's not described as a tax. It would regulate economic activity, but it's promoted as a "free market" mechanism. Finally, it would trigger a tidal wave of influence-peddling, as lobbyists scrambled to exploit the system for different industries and localities. This would undermine whatever the system's abstract advantages.

The Senate is debating a cap-and-trade proposal, and although it's unlikely to pass, it will return because all the major presidential support the concept.
As do almost the entire Democratic Party and a significant portion of the GOP. Sad but true.

Radical environmentalists, through the media, have enormous influence in shaping public perception. Dr Sanity correctly observes that their agenda is to "discredit capitalism and to use global warming and other environmental concerns as a justification to impose their ideological and political agenda."

Peter Ferrara notes that changes resulting from a slight global temperature rise would actually be beneficial for humanity, something the alarmists never mention. He also sums up nicely what is really going on:
What this translates into is a dramatic assault on the standard of living in America, particularly for the middle class, working people, and the poor. Businesses would ultimately have to pay huge sums to get licenses to emit carbon while producing essential products and services for the American people.

This means, for example, that the price of gas is not going to come down. Rather, it will rise farther as a sharp new cost is added to the production of gasoline. Senators who vote for this bill are voting for still higher gas prices in the future.

Moreover, under the bill, consumers will see their utility bills soar. Utilities ultimately will have to pay huge new costs to produce electricity, which will be passed on to consumers.

The price of food will continue to increase as well, as farmers will have to pay higher costs for fertilizer, and for fuel for their tractors and trucks.

The bill will also effectively shut down heavy manufacturing in America. Manufacturing companies cannot compete while laboring under high energy costs. So good bye to all those well paying blue collar jobs, again slamming the middle class and working people.

This is the class struggle. The American standard of living will decline so that government power can prosper. The Senate cap-and-trade bill will raise government revenues by a trillion dollars over the next decade, supporting a massive increase in new spending.
He's right.

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