Sunday, July 12, 2009

50 reasons why not to support the Cap and Trade Bill

This National Review article about the Cap and Tax Bill is a must read for anyone that gives a crap about this country. The Waxman-Markey Bill has already passed in the House and now is being considered in the Senate and it must be stopped now. Authors Stephen Spruiell and Kevin Williamson point out 50 reasons why this is a dangerous law that will raise taxes on average Americans exponentially. This is a bit of a lengthy read for some but I would advise that you read it many times so as to truly understand what is being proposed.

The stimulus bill was the legislative equivalent of the famous cantina scene from Star Wars, an eye-popping collection of the freakish and exotic, gathered for dubious purposes. The Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill, known as ACES (the American Clean Energy and Security Act), is more like the third panel in Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights — a hellscape that disturbs the sleep of anybody who contemplates it carefully.

Two main things to understand about Waxman-Markey: First, it will not reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, at least not at any point in the near future. The inclusion of carbon offsets, which can be manufactured out of thin air and political imagination, will eliminate most of the demands that the legislation puts on industry, though in doing so it will manage to drive up the prices consumers pay for every product that requires energy for its manufacture — which is to say, for everything. Second, it represents a worse abuse of the public trust and purse than the stimulus and the bailouts put together. Waxman-Markey creates a permanent new regime in which environmental romanticism and corporate welfare are mixed together to form political poison. From comic bureaucratic power grabs (check out the section of the bill on candelabras) to the creation of new welfare programs for Democratic constituencies to, above all, massive giveaways for every financial, industrial, and political lobby imaginable, this bill would permanently deform American politics and economic life.

The House of Representatives, famously, did not read this bill before passing it, which is testament to either Nancy Pelosi’s managerial incompetency or her political wile, or possibly both. If you take the time to read the legislation, you’ll discover four major themes: special-interest giveaways, regulatory mandates unrelated to climate change, fanciful technological programs worthy of The Jetsons, and assorted left-wing wish fulfillment. We cannot cover every swirl and brushstroke of this masterpiece of misgovernance, but here’s a breakdown of its 50 most outrageous features.

1. The big doozy: Eighty-five percent of the carbon permits will not be sold at auction — they will be given away to utility companies, petroleum interests, refineries, and a coterie of politically connected businesses. If you’re wondering why Big Business supports cap-and-trade, that’s why. Free money for business, but higher energy prices for you.

2. The sale of carbon permits will enrich the Wall Street investment bankers whose money put Obama in the White House. Top of the list: Goldman Sachs, which is invested in carbon-offset development and carbon permissions. CNN reports:

Less than two weeks after the investment bank announced it would be laying off 10 percent of its staff, ***Goldman Sachs confirmed that it has taken a minority stake in Utah-based carbon offset project developer Blue Source LLC. . . . “Interest in the pre-compliance carbon market in the U.S. is growing rapidly,” said Leslie Biddle, Head of Commodity Sales at Goldman, “and we are excited to be able to offer our clients immediate access to a diverse selection of emission reductions to manage their carbon risk.”

3. With its rich menu of corporate subsidies and special set-asides for politically connected industries, Waxman-Markey has inspired a new corporate interest group, USCAP, the United States Climate Action Partnership — the group largely responsible for the fact that carbon permits are being given away like candy at Christmas rather than auctioned. And who is lined up to receive a piece of the massive wealth transfer that Waxman-Markey will mandate? Canada Free Press lists:

Alcoa, American International Group (AIG) which withdrew after accepting government bailout money, Boston Scientific Corporation, BP America Inc., Caterpillar Inc., Chrysler LLC (which continues to lobby with taxpayer dollars), ConocoPhillips, Deere & Company, The Dow Chemical Company, Duke Energy, DuPont, Environmental Defense, Exelon Corporation, Ford Motor Company, FPL Group, Inc., General Electric, General Motors Corp. (now owned by the Obama administration), Johnson & Johnson, Marsh, Inc., National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Nature Conservancy, NRG Energy, Inc., Pepsico, Pew Center on Global Climate Change, PG&E Corporation, PNM Resources, Rio Tinto, Shell, Siemens Corporation, World Resources Institute, Xerox Corporation.

One major group of recipients of the free money being given to industry in the form of carbon permits are the electric utilities, represented in Washington by the Edison Electric Institute. Along with the coal and steel businesses, the utilities are positioned to receive a huge portion of the carbon permits — some of which will be disguised as measures for consumers — and have become one of the nation’s highest-spending lobbies, working to ensure that their interests are served by cap-and-trade.

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  1. Great read. I particularly like the reference to the cantina in Star Wars. I think the whole bill amounts to taxation without representation because the House didn't bother to read it. I don't know if it's true yet as I've not been able to verify it yet, but I saw on Twitter that the Senate is pushing it back to September. Which is either to make the public forget or to give it more reading time. I'm intending on telling my Senators to dump it.

    My advice to everyone is to get out of debt asap though. With the way our government is acting as far as taxes and laws we're in for a hard row. Get into wealth securing assets. Commodities and cheap land is what I'm thinking. I'm tracking (with the widget ) the gold and silver right now and it is falling into some good buying territory. Particularly silver.

  2. I'm surprised there are only 50 reasons.

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  5. The sheer magnitude of waste, handouts, and nonsense in this bill is astounding. Hopefully, enough people will wake up to this stop it.

  6. "wake up to this and stop it" I should say.

  7. I'm beginning to wonder how far this global warming issue can be pushed. If the oceans are indeed rising that could be a good thing---maybe Washington will be flooded before those in power can find a boat. Seriously, I am starting to think the madness is out of control and the onrushing events will over take us all. I'm feeling like an alien in what use to be my country.