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Cap-and-Trade Insanity August 19, 2009

Posted by honestclimate in Discussions.
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Cap-and-Trade Insanity

By Alan Caruba
Via ICECAP

To understand how insane the Cap-and-Trade bill really is you need to know that it based on the belief that carbon dioxide emissions must be reduced to avoid a global warming that is NOT happening.

The American Clean Energy and Security Act is a giant scam involving “carbon credits” to be sold and traded. It is also about billions in taxpayer’s dollars being wasted on wind and solar generation of electricity. If this was a sensible way to produce energy, it would be a dominant producer, but it isn’t. Short of producing electricity by peddling bicycles, it is as inefficient and impractical as possible.

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So-called “clean energy” accounts for just over one percent of all the electricity Americans use every day and it exists only because the government subsidizes it by taking your tax dollars and giving them to wind and solar energy producers. Some States require utilities to buy electricity from them.

As for “security”, how much energy security does the United States enjoy if it must import 60% of the oil it uses for transportation and a wide range of products, not the least of which is anything made from plastic?

Real security means drilling and mining right here, right now. There’s plenty of oil in ANWR and offshore. The government forbids access to it. And, where’s there’s oil there’s natural gas as well. As for coal, the U.S. has enough for centuries of affordable electricity, but the environmental organizations have in recent years stopped the building of a hundred coal-fired plants and they brag about it.

A study of the economic impact of the bill by the American Council on Capitol Formation and the National Association of Manufacturers concluded that, if passed, Cap-and-Trade would decrease the Gross Domestic Product of the United States by $2 and $3 trillion by 2030. That’s lost job and lost industrial production.

That’s because Cap-and-Trade would increase the cost of all activities, business and others, by increasing the cost of electricity, the master resource that powers everything in the nation.

Remember, this would be done to limit “greenhouse gas emissions.” This cost would solely be on the backs of Americans while other nations of the world would be free to continue emissions, i.e. providing jobs and producing goods.

Remember, too, that global warming is not occurring. The Earth has been in a cooling cycle for a decade.

This bill is so horrible, Americans can only guess at the consequences of its passage. One thing is certain. It would massively expand government because thousands would have to be hired to administer it.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates it would cost $8 billion over a ten-year period because to operate efficiently it would require the approval of approximately 1,500 new regulations and mandates involving at least 21 federal agencies.

The introduction of Cap-and-Trade would “create the nation’s largest commodity market in which polluters would buy and sell rights to emit carbon dioxide” according to a recent Washington Times article, but it is essential to understand that emitting CO2 is not “pollution.” Carbon dioxide is NOT a pollutant. It is a gas vital to all plant life on Earth. If CO2 were a pollutant, than surely oxygen is as well because oxidation causes rust.

The Cap-and-Trade’s carbon credits could “be a $2 trillion market within five years,” said Bart Chilton, commissioner of the Commodities Futures Trade Commission.

So Cap-and-Trade is NOT about greenhouse gases or global warming. It is about trading credits for the right to GENERATE or USE ENERGY.

How insane is that?

Keep in mind that the present financial crisis is the direct result of the GOVERNMENT getting into the mortgage loan market in the form of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, purchasing loans from banking institutions and mortgage lenders who were required by law to make bad loans. Those loans, in turn, were bundled and resold as assets, but they were worthless.

Nothing is more worthless than carbon credits. Nothing is more dangerous to the economic future of the nation than the Cap-and-Trade Act. The U.S. Senate must defeat this bill which has already been passed by the House. YOU must defeat this bill by demanding your Senators vote against it. See Alan’s blog post here.

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Cap and Rage
The fight over health-care reform could hobble climate-change legislation
Washington Post Editorial

THE RANCOROUS debate over health reform has given voice to considerable uneasiness among Americans. Many are worried about how a new system will be paid for in an economy that has unraveled, and they are anxious about a kudzu-like expansion of an already unwieldy bureaucracy. Given the herculean effort it will take to get President Obama’s vision of reform through Congress, we’re not convinced that the Senate will have the stomach to tackle cap-and-trade legislation this fall. The growing agitation within the chamber over the creation of another complex system to buy, sell and trade pollution credits only adds to our doubts.

The House barely passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act (a.k.a. Waxman-Markey) in June. The 1,400-page bill has a potpourri of measures ranging from new efficiency and renewable energy standards to a cap-and-trade provision that gives away 85 percent of the pollution allowances to various interests. The Senate is proving to be a much tougher sell. Last week, four Democratic senators—Blanche Lincoln (Ark.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Kent Conrad (N.D.) and Byron L. Dorgan (N.D.)—called on the leadership to strip cap-and-trade completely from the bill that Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) hopes to start stitching together next month. This comes days after 10 moderate Democratic senators from coal and manufacturing states sent a letter to President Obama warning that they would not go along with any cap-and-trade regime that didn’t “maintain a level playing field for American manufacturing.”

Dropping cap-and-trade from the Senate bill is considered a non-starter by Mr. Reid and environmental advocates for two reasons. First, a long-stated goal of congressional leaders and the president himself is to have emissions-limiting legislation passed and signed into law in time for international climate talks in Copenhagen in December. Second, there is no Plan B. The leadership has put all of its eggs in the cap-and-trade basket.

Yet there are other options worthy of consideration. Yes, we’re talking about a carbon tax. It would be relatively simple to devise and easy to implement. It would require no new bureaucracy, and the revenue generated could be rebated to the taxpayer in any number of ways—through a payroll tax reduction, for instance.

We know we are running counter to Washington’s tax-averse conventional wisdom. But we are not alone in our support of the carbon tax. There were three such bills in the House. One of the inventors of the cap-and-trade concept, Thomas Crocker, told the Wall Street Journal last week that he favors a carbon tax because he believes it’s easier to enforce.

If Congress fails to pass cap-and-trade legislation, it will rapidly approach a fork in the road in addressing global warming. Members can sit back while unelected bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency follow through on their moves toward regulating greenhouse gas emissions as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act. Or they can entertain a carbon-based tax designed to reduce emissions and give the money back to taxpayers in an equitable manner. A decision on which path to take is bearing down upon us. Not only are the global warming dangers facing the planet reaching the tipping point, but there will also be no climate agreement in Copenhagen without strong leadership in words and deeds from the United States. As the Senate forges ahead, nothing should be off the table. Read post here.

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The relative electrial energy potential of various sources thanks to Bill DiPucchio. Larger version here. It clearly shows why wind and solar must be considered supplemental sources in any sane energy plan.

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See Peter Lang’s analysis of the realities about wind power here and solar here. See this new site devoted to the promising new energy sources and folly of some of the alternatives endorsed by the environmental lobby and administration. There are 30 posts over the last few months.

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