Mar 26, 2009

Beware of Cap and Trade

Obama's espousal of cap-and-trade, a system that is intended, among other things, to increase the price of fossil fuels and force their replacement by energy sources that produce less greenhouse gases, has drawn fire from many economists as a huge energy tax that will weigh heavily on an economy that is already in steep recession. The price tag has been put high as $2 trillion dollars over eight years. That figure, nearly three times higher than originally projected, was given in a White House briefing to Senate staffers last week and reported by US News and World Report and the Washington Times.

The basic idea: “Companies that produce emissions below a mandatory cap earn carbon credits — which they can then sell to companies that don’t meet the cap. This rewards those who invest in ways of reducing pollution and penalizing those who don’t.”

These measures would set a limit, or cap, on carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel use. The effect of such a cap would be to impose rationing of coal, oil, and natural gas on the American economy. Each covered utility, oil company, and manufacturing facility would be given allowances based on past emissions or some other formula. Those companies that emit less carbon dioxide than permitted by their allowances could sell the excess to those that do not; this is the trade part of cap and trade. Over time, the cap would be ratcheted down, requiring greater cuts in emissions.

By limiting the supply of fossil fuels, Cap and Trade would raise the cost of energy.
For consumers, this means more expensive gasoline and electricity as well as net job losses in energy-dependent sectors. Senator Lieberman himself concedes costs into the hundreds of billions of dollars. And as the Congressional Budget Office has noted, such energy cost increases act as a regressive tax on the poor and working class.

Carbon dioxide is the unavoidable byproduct of fossil fuel combustion, which currently provides 85 percent of America's energy. Thus, it will be very costly to move away from this preferred energy source. Methane is another gas being targeted in an effort to also grab some money from the Agriculture sector. They want to impose 175.00 per cow, 87.50 for beef cows and feeder cattle and 20.00 per pig in confinement. That will make a huge impact on an already fluctuating livestock industry that will increase all dairy and meat prices to the consumer and close many family businesses. Landfills and sewage plants will have to raise their prices too.

While the costs of aggressive cap and trade proposals are substantial, the environmental benefits are suspect .... even if one fully accepts the claim of man-made global warming.
It is a near certainty that the first climate bill enacted will not be the last one. Cap and trade bills are nothing short of a government re-engineering of the American economy. It would put the nation on a path of serious economic harm not justified by any benefits, adding to the already depressed economy. Heck, all the cutbacks and lack of production and consumption will make a bigger impact on the greenhouse effect than Cap and Trade will, only difference is the $$$ going in the governments pockets. Makes you want to fart, don't it!!

President Obama talked about his Cap & Trade Policies and what this policy would do …

Until the other industrialized countries start to clean up after they pollute, there would be no point in cleaning up anything here...China, India, Japan, middle east, Pakistan...all huge polluters, so why should America be the only one to blame? Our emission standard are already higher than nearly any other country...The world has to work together...until then, lets just try to SAVE our economy instead of adding fuel to the fire!

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