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  • Cap and Trade: What's the Point?

    There’s a point at which you’ve got to ask yourself, what are we doing here? What’s the point?”

    That’s Elaine Kamarck, a former Clinton administration official and advisor to at that time Vice President Gore, and she’s talking about the Waxman-Markey cap and trade bill. In order to garner enough votes to pass the House of Representatives, policymakers made promises that have groups like Greenpeace questioning the environmental effectiveness of the bill.

    One of the most contentious provisions in the bill is the use of offsets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, in which “a manufacturing plant in, say, Gary, Ind., that is exceeding its ‘permitted’ expulsion of CO2, could continue to commit this sin against humanity by paying for a Brazilian farmer to plant some trees in the rain forest. A more patriotic company might achieve the same result by paying an Iowa farmer to implement more ‘Earth-friendly’ farming practices. Of course, to guard against some nefarious polluter trying to cheat Uncle Sam and the world by claiming bogus ‘offsets,’ here must be a monitoring mechanism. Enter the ‘Offsets Integrity Advisory Board’ — yet another group of scientific ‘experts’ that would be tasked with compiling a list of qualifying offsets around the globe.”

    Cap and trade is a regulatory nightmare that would hand over more power and money to the government with the intention of reducing global temperatures. The problem with that, however, is the Waxman-Markey cap and trade bill will only reduce temperatures by an amount almost too small to measure. The bigger problem is that consumers’ pocketbooks will be hit hard by this bill. The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis found that by 2035, gasoline prices would increase 58 percent, natural gas prices would increase 55 percent, home heating oil would increase 56 percent, and worst of all, electricity prices would jump 90 percent. After all, the goal of cap and trade is to drive up energy prices so high that people will use less. Yet in Missouri, state legislators are considering a bill that would charge consumers for saving electricity.

    The lingering question is: How on earth did this bill pass? Through the back door. “At a time when some still saw Obama as too inexperienced to adapt to Washington’s backroom ways, Waxman found the president perfectly ready to accept the only strategy that offered hope of success: Sitting down with each group affected by the bill and trading concessions for support.”

    Yet, many of the same companies that hired lobbyists to help shape the 1,200-page bill and that will receive handouts in the short-term will inevitably face significant economic pain in subsequent years from drastically higher energy prices. They will have to shed jobs or ship them overseas.

    As the climate change debate moves to the Senate, it’s important to remember Elaine Karmarck’s two questions. What are we doing here? What’s the point?

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    13 Responses to Cap and Trade: What's the Point?

    1. James Carter, San An says:

      Elaine is exactly right; "What's the point?" When our climate scientists can't tell us the weather tomorrow, how in the hell can they have any idea what man-made effects can have on long-term earth temperatures.

      We must defeat this bill. There is no credible threat from man-made global warming; as a matter of fact the earth's temperatur has been decreasing the last ten years. The government can't even get their lies straight.

      Anyone who supports this legislation should be voted out of office.

    2. Andrew, Michigan says:

      I agree that the Cap and Trade/Tax bill needs to go down as it will do nothing for the environment, and it will increase taxes, but I find the estimations within the third paragraph "The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis found that by 2035, gasoline prices would increase 58 percent, natural gas prices would increase 55 percent, home heating oil would increase 56 percent, and worst of all, electricity prices would jump 90 percent." insignificant to the common citizen as they are to futurized. They may be the most accurate numbers out there (I am not arguing with methodologies here) but the typical radar of the masses is for one year, maybe 5 years if your lucky. The way things are currently going I do not know if we will even have gasoiline or oil in 2035. Now if the analysis pointed out that this tax will drive gasoline up to $5 or $6 /gallon next year, this would strike the popular nerve of America.

    3. Rmoen, Reno, NV says:

      I'm a Democrat who thinks the House overplayed its hand. I read editorials, comments and letters-to-the-editor from all over the nation. Support for cap and trade appears to be evaporating. Whereas a week ago it was maybe 2-to-1 against cap and trade, it now seems to be 8-to-1 against. The Senate will be wise to heed the overwhelming lack of public support and stop this disastrous legislation from passing into law.

      If instead the United States had a national mandate to replace coal generation plants with natural gas and nuclear energy, plus if we replaced our commuter cars with battery-powered electric cars, we would drastically reduce our dependence on foreign oil and reduce CO2 emissions faster and beyond the proposed cap and trade targets.

      – Robert Moen, http://www.energyplanUSA.com

    4. Spiritof76 says:


      I want to call the Cap and Trade bill as Porky and Malarkey scam.

      I hate to burst your bubble. There are no affordable battery powered cars that can contribute to a $13T economy. It is a pipe dream. The lithium-ion batteries are expensive and the charging rates must be controlled, otherwise they will explode! Power density is greater than Nickel-metal hydride batteries but far short of what is needed for viable tarnsportation other than on golf courses. Another thing, where is the juice coming fom when you plug the car for charging?

      Obama and Democrat controlled Congress is killing domestic production of energy other than the losers of wind power and solar power. The Chinese are lauhging at us as we shut down the coal, oil and natural gas exploration and production. Forget about nuclear. Obama is okay with Iran having nuclear power but not the US.

      We must first get rid of Obama and his minions as they are anti-Americans. If he loves Europe so much, he can go live there. But then, France and Germany are not buying his crap energy policies for themselves.

    5. Pingback: » Financial News Update - 07/06/09 NoisyRoom.net: “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the face of tyranny is no virtue.” Barry Goldwater

    6. Andrew, Michigan says:

      Cap and Trade is falling underneath (or isn't even on) the radar screen of many Americans and could easily pass quietly in the Senate. I believe it is designed and very intentional by some strategists. GOP needs a counter to this and offer sensible solutions! CO2 and Green Jobs are a farce. America needs independence, America needs employment, and American's should not and can not be enslaved by the super majority!

    7. Josh Shultz says:

      The reason we do not replace coal generation plants with natural gas plants and nuclear power plants is because they cost more $ per kilowatt hour of electricity produced when you consider capital and operating costs. Nuclear power is not competitive (neither is wind, gas, or solar) with coal powered-generation. The US has a relatively cheap and abundant supply of coal. Without some form of carbon tax there is no incentive to invest in cleaner technologies.

    8. Pingback: Understanding what cap-and-trade actually does « Wintery Knight Blog

    9. Richard Williams, Sa says:

      The true issue is not "climate change" or "global warming"… I call these sound bytes "political science"… science which is politically motivated. The true issue we must deal with is national security and energy independence. Both can and must be handled within the free market system. Coal and Natural Gas for electricity generation and Natural Gas for transportation either CNG technology or Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology.

    10. Barb mn says:

      Excellent points! We also need to DEMAND evidence. What has co2 poison caused to call it a poison or pollutant? Where is the evidence of devastating effects? Where do they determine devastation and how is it determined? How is the science government puts all faith into PAID? ETC, ETC, ETC.


      …there isn't any!

    11. Spiritof76 says:

      Josh Shultz,

      What the hell do we need carbon tax for, like a hole in the head? I want to get rid of the government from energy. Close down the Energy Dept. and let American ingenuity solve the so called problem created by the government. We have plenty of coal, oil and natural gas. We are energy independent. The government is standing in the way.

    12. Thomas, Anchorage, A says:

      "Obama, G-8 leaders agree on climate target…

      L'AQUILA, Italy – President Barack Obama joined other leaders of the industrialized world Wednesday in backing new targets for battling global warming. But the wealthy nations were unable to persuade leaders of developing countries to commit to reductions of their own, and their cooperation is critical to avoiding the worst effects of climate change.

      White House officials confirmed that Obama agreed to language supporting a goal of keeping the world's average temperature from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

      The agreement by the Group of Eight industrialized nations, meeting in Italy, marks a significant step in efforts to limit greenhouse gases blamed for the world's rising temperature. The G-8 previously had not been able to agree on that temperature limit as a political goal."


      "…keeping the world's average temperature from rising…"

      "The G-8 previously had not been able to agree on that temperature limit as a political goal."

      This is indescribably disturbing. People that talk and think like this are mentally defective. Period.

    13. Brendan, Connnecticu says:

      James Carter is right…but also wrong. Overall, the earth's climate has been decreasing (as a whole), but it other parts of the world (i.e. Antarctica), its getting warmer, and so that is a little bit of a problem, but not really for many reasons i will not get into because they are long. But the point is, we can't let this get through. There's no point, and in an economic time like this, we do not have the money or time. People in washington are wasting their time with this bill.

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