The Cap and Trade Scam

OK, what’s this “cap and trade” thing all about? Well, first its a bid to massively change some fundamentals of our economy all for the sake of reducing global warming (by a few tenths of a degree Celsius in a few decades). Although the powerless House GOP has offered arguments against its passage, Democratic leaders have had more problems with their own rank-and-file (especially blue dog and farm-state Dems) and have been forced to make deals in hopes of pushing the Waxman-Markey bill through today (though no one will have a chance to read it–kinda sounds like RI).
The reason for the resistance is simple: no matter how you slice it, American’s are going to pay more for everything for the sake of “feeling better” about “doing our part” to help reduce global warming. Or something. Its a redistributive tax increase, plain and simple, and it affects that 95% of the people President Obama claims to want to leave alone.
The Congressional Budget Office review of the bill explains the basics:

H.R. 2454 would establish two cap-and-trade programs, one for six GHGs
(mostly CO2) {GHG= “green house gas”–ed.} and one for a seventh GHG, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The first program, the focus of this analysis, is generally referred to as the GHG cap-and-trade program. H.R. 2454 would set limits on GHG emissions for each year. Regulated entities could comply with the policy in some combination of three ways:
■ By reducing their emissions,
■ By holding an allowance for each ton of GHGs that they emitted, or
■ By acquiring an “offset credit” for their emissions.
Offset credits would be generated by firms that were not covered by the cap but that reduced their emissions or took actions to store emissions in trees and soil, using methods that would be approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. The bill would allow firms to use a significant quantity of offset credits—generated in the United States and overseas, with a maximum quantity for each specified in the legislation—toward compliance with the cap. Most of those offset credits would be generated by changes in agricultural and forestry practices. To the extent that acquiring offset credits was cheaper than undertaking more emission reductions, allowing firms to comply with offset credits would lower compliance costs overall.

The CBO also determined that:

Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the net annual economywide cost of the cap-and-trade program in 2020 would be $22 billion—or about $175 per household. That figure includes the cost of restructuring the production and use of energy and of payments made to foreign entities under the program, but it does not include the economic benefits and other benefits of the reduction in GHG emissions and the associated slowing of climate change. CBO could not determine the incidence of certain pieces (including both costs and benefits) that represent, on net, about 8 percent of the total. For the remaining portion of the net cost, households in the lowest income quintile would see an average net benefit of about $40 in 2020, while households in the highest income quintile would see a net cost of $245. Added costs for households in the second lowest quintile would be about $40 that year; in the middle quintile, about $235; and in the fourth quintile, about $340. Overall net costs would average 0.2 percent of households’ after-tax income.

However, the Wall Street Journal explains the CBO was too narrow in its projections:

For starters, the CBO estimate is a one-year snapshot of taxes that will extend to infinity. Under a cap-and-trade system, government sets a cap on the total amount of carbon that can be emitted nationally; companies then buy or sell permits to emit CO2. The cap gets cranked down over time to reduce total carbon emissions….
The biggest doozy in the CBO analysis was its extraordinary decision to look only at the day-to-day costs of operating a trading program, rather than the wider consequences energy restriction would have on the economy. The CBO acknowledges this in a footnote: “The resource cost does not indicate the potential decrease in gross domestic product (GDP) that could result from the cap.”

Kind of a big caveat, there. The WSJ also mentions the analysis of Waxman-Markey conducted by the Heritage Foundation, and summarizes the findings:

Under this more comprehensive scenario, [Heritage] found Waxman-Markey would cost the economy $161 billion in 2020, which is $1,870 for a family of four. As the bill’s restrictions kick in, that number rises to $6,800 for a family of four by 2035.

But, at least we’ll have less global warming. Maybe. In truth, as the WSJ explained back in March:

Cap and trade, in other words, is a scheme to redistribute income and wealth — but in a very curious way. It takes from the working class and gives to the affluent; takes from Miami, Ohio, and gives to Miami, Florida; and takes from an industrial America that is already struggling and gives to rich Silicon Valley and Wall Street “green tech” investors who know how to leverage the political class.

Taking from blue-collars and giving to Bobos, how “progressive.”

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Tom W
Tom W
14 years ago

A stealth way to enact a form of national sales / VAT tax under the guise of environmentalism.
Note Michelle Malkin’s latest column re: EPA suppressing an internal report questioning the validity of the whole “global warming” science.

Tom W
Tom W
14 years ago

It just passed the House.
If it gets through the Senate, watch for huge increases in electricity (and other energy) costs in New England.
Recall how NE’s high electricity / energy costs are often cited as a major reason why companies, particularly manufacturers, relocate to other parts of the country?
Well Patrick Kennedy and his fellow Democrats have just pounded several more nails into Rhode Island’s coffin.

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