• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Cap and Trade Bill Moves Forward on Waxman’s Artificial Timeline: High Costs Remain (Part 10 in a 10-Part Series)

    Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) is a man of his words, sort of. He told people he wanted to get a global warming bill that capped carbon dioxide out by Memorial Day and he did:

    Legislation imposing the first nationwide limits on the pollution blamed for global warming advanced in the House late Thursday, clearing a key committee despite strong Republican opposition.

    The Energy and Commerce Committee approved the sweeping climate bill 33-25 after repeatedly turning back GOP attempts to kill or weaken the measure during four days of debate.

    The panel’s action increases the likelihood that the full House for the first time will address broad legislation to tackle climate change later this year. The Senate has yet to take up the issue.”

    The bill is expected to be on the House floor by mid-June. Waxman also had this to say:

    “The American people are overwhelming calling for a new direction … to take action in a way that changes forever our relationship with imported oil, with the loss of jobs overseas, with the pollution that is causing greenhouse gas warming on our planet. It is very clear that ratepayers are going to be protected.”

    1.) The American people are not overwhelming calling for a new direction. There’s a lack of consensus and recent polls have shown waning public belief that man-made activity is a significant contributor to global warming and that global warming is a serious belief.

    2.) Changing our relationship with imported oil. Despite the fact that politicians have seemingly been making this promise since the beginning of the Republic—indeed, rumor has it that such assurances were made during the first Continental Congress at Carpenter’s Hall in Philadelphia—the fact is that ending our dependence on ‘dangerous, foreign oil’ is not that easy and this legislation will not advance the cause. The only thing cap and trade will do is drive up the price for consumers to pay. Heritage analysis found that Waxman-Markey would raise inflation-adjusted gasoline prices by 58 percent. Of course, that’s the idea. Artificially raise the price to reduce demand. But fossil fuels supply 85 percent of our energy needs. This won’t change overnight and even with artificially higher prices, fossil fuels will still be cost-competitive with non-traditional sources of energy.

    3.) Loss of jobs overseas. The only thing this bill will do is increase that number. Waxman-Markey will send all our manufacturing and energy-intensive jobs overseas since it will be less costly to operate in other countries that are not capping carbon. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), remarked, “It’s a competition issue. Do not eliminate our middle class and send it to China.” Waxman proposes to protect these industries with, well, protectionism. “Democrats responded that their bill already has built into it several provisions to protect energy-intensive companies, including pulp and paper, steel, aluminum, glass and cement. That includes a 15 percent distribution of free allowances to the trade-vulnerable industries, as well as a clause that allows the president by 2025 to impose tariffs on carbon-intensive goods imported into the United States.” So not only will our energy costs exorbitantly higher per year, but now everything we import will be more expensive too.

    4.) Pollution that is causing greenhouse gas warming on our planet. 700 scientists, including some current and former UN IPCC scientists, tend to disagree. The quotes (available here) from dissenting atmospheric scientists are very compelling. The planet is warming but the lack of scientific consensus suggests we don’t know carbon dioxide’s affect on global temperatures, nor do we know how much man is contributing to that warming. Plenty of studies concur it’s negligible. Without fully understanding how or why the earth is warming or cooling, do we really want to embark on a policy that will extract trillions from our economy to reduce the earth’s temperature too small to ever notice?

    5.) It is very clear the ratepayers are going to be protected. Ah, perhaps the biggest fallacy of them all. Because Waxman-Markey acts as a massive tax on energy, the typical family of four will see its direct energy costs rise by over $1,241 per year. Higher prices reduce demand, but even with this cutback, the electric bill for a family of four will be $468 more by 2035 and $9,410 more in total from 2012 to 2035. But the direct tax on household energy use is just the beginning. The energy tax also hits producers. As the higher production costs ripple through the economy the household pocketbooks get hit again and again. When all the tax impacts have been added up, the average per-family-of-four costs rise by $2,979 per year. And the costs per family for the whole energy tax aggregated from 2012 to 2035 is $71,493. And this doesn’t even include the impact of the 844,000 lost jobs.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    2 Responses to Cap and Trade Bill Moves Forward on Waxman’s Artificial Timeline: High Costs Remain (Part 10 in a 10-Part Series)

    1. Bill Valparaiso, In says:

      I have difficulty believing anyone in congress would support this bill. How stupid do our legislators think the American tax paying public are???

      I'm for a responsible effort to reduce CO2 emmissions, but can't we do it in a sensible manner, that will not reduce the GNP, put, 844,000

      out of work, to achieve a one-tenth of a degree change. Who in the legislature is benefitting from this maddness? Murtha?????

    2. Edward Brynes says:

      It's worth noting that just a couple of days ago, the gasoline futures price hit its highest level since the beginning of November. This suggests that Waxman-Markey, aside from its other failings, will not gain approval from voters — a majority of whom don't even know what "cap and trade" is.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×