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  • Heritage’s Ben Lieberman Sets the Record Straight on Europe’s Cap and Trade Experience

    As of late, when it comes to policymaking in Washington D.C., the trendy thing to do has been to point to Europe. Our Members of Congress are doing it with two of the largest reform policies currently on the table: health care and energy. With regards to energy, advocates of a cap and trade program to reduce carbon dioxide emissions say if Europe can do it, so can we. But the reality is, we’re lucky Europe’s gone through with a cap and trade program, because it is a perfect example of what not to do.

    Testifying before the Committee on Foreign Relations, The Heritage Foundation’s Senior Policy Analyst in energy issues explained:

    Most western European nations are currently learning, the hard way, that ratcheting down carbon emissions [through cap-and-trade] is very difficult and expensive…To the limited extent European nations have reduced emissions below business-as-usual levels, it has hurt their economies. Almost every western European nation has had higher unemployment and energy costs than America, and a weaker overall economy, even as emissions were rising. Far from seeing evidence of the new green economy some are now promising, we are seeing that cap and trade has contributed to the harm. For example, Spain has been cited repeatedly as the example of a successful clean energy economy and source of green jobs, but it is rarely mention that Spain currently has 18 percent unemployment.”

    Heritage analysis of the Waxman-Markey legislation that recently passed the House predicts costs averaging nearly $3,000 annually for a family of four, overall lost gross domestic product of $393 billion annually, and $9.4 trillion cumulatively by 2035, as well as over a million lost jobs. Even the Washington Post described Europe’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) as “exhibit A” in what not to do.

    Cap and trade supporters can make excuses all they want for ETS’s poor record in Europe. But the bottom line is pretty clear, Lieberman said:

    The record in Europe suggests that the Heritage Foundation and others predicting high costs for Waxman-Markey are right, while those predicting postage stamp per day costs are wrong. If it really were postage stamp cheap, Europe’s emissions reduction record would be much better, and there would be no need to make excuses for it.”

    For more, visit Heritage’s cap and trade Rapid Response page.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    16 Responses to Heritage’s Ben Lieberman Sets the Record Straight on Europe’s Cap and Trade Experience

    1. Rmoen, Reno, NV says:

      America needs clean, cheap energy — not clean, expensive energy. I'm a Democrat who thinks the House overplayed its hand. Daily I read editorials, comments and letters-to-the-editor from all over the nation. Support for cap and trade is evaporating. Whereas a week ago it was maybe 2-to-1 against cap and trade, opinion 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 of cap and trade 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

    2. Pingback: Heritage’s Ben Lieberman Sets the Record Straight on Europe’s Cap and Trade Experience « Conservative Thoughts and Profundity

    3. metnav, AR says:

      Even ten years ago, if I had suggested that the majority party’s proposed bill would be withheld from the minority party two hours from the vote — and then one copy was grudgingly provided, to be shared by all 435 Representatives , you would have looked at me like I was a crazy person…….

      Well that’s exactly when Congress voted on and passed the infamous HR 2454 Cap and Trade/Carbon Emissions Bill. Final vote: 219 Yea, 212 Nay. A little after 3 am on that very same day a 300 page amendment was added to the original 900+ pages. This is the longest suicide note in history and will further hasten our downward economic spiral. The Senate looks to debate it this Fall where it will likely get nowhere. Friday’s vote may have been a gift to the POTUS for the upcoming UN meeting knowing there’s little chance of it getting thru the Senate. Before Friday’s vote I made my feelings known to our Democratic Congressman. I see he voted No but I’ve no idea what his real motivation was. Some that voted Yes received calls 20:1 urging a No vote and they still voted Yes.

      This is about more than just higher electricity rates. It’s a massive redistribution of wealth, further limits our freedoms all under the guise of reducing an essential trace greenhouse gas, and does next to nil for energy independence. This Manmade Global Warming/Climate Change House Of Cards is tumbling down. Every week more and more new contrary evidence is seeing the light of day. The Mainstream Media won’t report it, but this vital information is getting out to those that want honest debate on this important issue.

      Looking past the Senate this Fall we have the December Copenhagen UN meeting on a new Global Warming Treaty. Remember the Kyoto Treaty? Well you ain’t seen nothing yet. I shudder to think what the U.S. delegation would love to commit us to for years or decades forward. Lastly there’s the EPA waiting in the wings to regulate all things CO2. Recently a leaked string of internal EPA e-mails detailed suppression of evidence that undermines the CO2 argument. Many derided the career EPA employee as not being a climatologist. Well Mr. Carlin has a physics degree. Al Gore is no climatologist or scientist but he’s allowed to testify before Congress on this issue. Madness!

      Remember Friday’s vote, because if this horror show is implemented on the American public it will blow up in our face as it has in every country this has been tried. At what cost in dollars and individual freedoms? Mark your calendar in RED, because that is the path we are heading toward. Contact your Senators and ask them if they’re prepared to defend a Yes vote for this misguided Bill. Let them know a NO Vote will ensure your support next election cycle.

    4. Pingback: » Financial News Update - 07/10/09 NoisyRoom.net: “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the face of tyranny is no virtue.” Barry Goldwater

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    6. Tenn Slim Atoka says:


      Cap and Trade, Health Care single options, all point to the END goals of the OBNA.

      1. Demise of the productive Capitalist system in the USA.

      2. Implementation of the desired version of a Eurpean Style, IE: Bulgarian, Hungarian, Checka, Poland, East Europe, all Socialist states. The trend has been toward this for some 50 years. Now is the time to implement.

      3. Micro control of the USA culture, which has been on the Left's agenda for the same period. Norman Rockwell's USA , so deried in academia and denigrated in the MSM will go, along with the folks.


      NOT SO FAST. The USA is TOO broad, deep and diverse to believe for one moment, that these goals can be attained. The Left would desire them, no doubt, but it is a far cry from implementation. Look at the steel in the eyes of the ordinarire person being interviewed on the street. You may hear agreement, but look at the eyes. They tell an entirely different story.

      The USA Eletorate does indeed "get it' and it has soured their stomache.


      Semper Fi

    7. Richard says:

      It's trendy to point to Europe today but isn't Europe the place many of our forefathers left to have a better life in America? It's time our politicians do right for Americans and not worry about what they are doing in Europe.

    8. Bill Lee says:

      If George Bush is know as Dumb by the Democrates. With Obama continued use of the stupid TARP program that Bush started, I say we have:

      "Dumb and Dumber"

      Also, why is there not an outcry on Obama picking company winners in the Cap/Trade Bill.

      Large companies given "free pollution credits".

    9. Charles Webb Va. says:

      Let's fore once Learn From the European's Cap & Trade Will!!! not Does Not Work!!! Never will Work!!! Obama&Gore Whats Wrong With this Idit's Globeal Warming How can any One Belive This Load of Crap But A Bunch of Tree Huggers Al Gore&Obama are Not Scientist's The Real Scientist's They Say That The Climate IS COOLING!!! Cooling Did You People Hear The Real Guy's say IT's COOLING!!!!

    10. Brad S,, Detroit, MI says:

      One of the best, intelligent responses to this farce of a bill was posted in the Comments section of WSJ story on some of the "Losers" in the industry for Cap and Trade. Read on . . .

      Waxman Markey is a bad bill cobbled together for the worst of reasons, greed.

      Even supporters of the AGW theory suggest that rolling back carbon emissions will do very little in terms of changing the mean global temperature.

      The people pushing for this the hardest have financial interests in carbon offsets, "green technologies" or exchanges where carbon credits will be traded.

      Even if you think fossil fuel based energy needs to have a price increase to stimulate the development of alternative energy, you have to ask yourself a fundamental question: why "cap & trade" and not a "carbon tax"? A carbon tax is structurally easier to implement and easier to raise or lower. It also provides greater transparency. The answer is simple: fewer special interests will gain form a carbon tax. Both however are bad ideas.

      In regards to your fundamental argument, energy prices need to be raised to stimulate alternative energy investment & development, name one other industry where that has been used for long term benefit in the past? Did the entire cell phone industry come about because land lines were made artificially expensive? Of course not. Was the internet developed from a tax on libraries & newspapers? Hardly.

      Innovation in alternative energy will come from the private sector when it is economically viable. The last time government tried this in the energy sector was the ethanol mandates. We all know what happened there. Food prices rose, pollution increased and ultimately, the ethanol producers went bust, all unintended consequences of a bad bill. What make you think this go round will be any different?

      The government is not a nimble beast. Handicapping technologies through subsidies & mandates while setting up bureaucracies to artificially re price a market has not worked in the past, and has little chance of working now.

      Show me an example, where the government has developed a technology better than the private sector.

      Show me a market, where more is produced by government intervention.

      By increasing the price of energy to satisfy your own prejudice that green technologies are somehow more ethical, you are asking all Americans to pay for conceit. I imagine you're comfortable with raising the price of everything produced or transported so you can sleep a bit more soundly at night thinking you've helped save the planet. The bill will simply start to roll back what has been the US economies greatest achievement: raising the standard of living for ALL of its citizens.

      Too often, all of society is asked to pay the bill for one group’s narrow self interest.

      The Waxman Markey bill is no different.

      Thank you. Very wisely stated. I would like to assign the following quote to Jesus 2.0 (BHO), but not really sure who said it . . .

      "Socialism has never really worked before because the wrong people were in charge . . ."

    11. PattieW, Virginia says:

      I don't want to follow Europe's lead. I live in the United States of America. I am a proud American. This cap-trade is a deliberate way to destroy us by destroying our economy. Then what, a one world government to save us. I wouldn't put anything past this administration.

    12. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      We paid to go to the Circus, and the Clowns are running the show!


    13. Roger S., MA. says:

      Sure, Lynn, you paid to see the clowns, but surprise: you'll have to pay again to see the acrobats, and again for the elephants, the band is free, though.

      Wanna trade your cap for mine? No? 'Fraid of dandruff? Don't blame you!

      How about your cap for my shoes? No? Comfy with your own? Bet'ya!

      Hey listen up, government! Most of us have been around longer than your current iteration, and guess what? We're doing just fine walking our own shoes, and my cap is a base-cap and the name and logo of a big bad gas-guzzler are written on the front. Think I'll take it off for you? No Way!

      Think I'll take it off for some drippy minister from "ole Europe"? Better think again.

      (Oh, I heard you had a great time talking to the Chinese and Indians last weekend. Were they buying? Really? I heard they just laughed. What makes you think I'm dumber than they are?)

    14. Pingback: Heritage’s Ben Lieberman Sets the Record Straight on Europe’s Cap and Trade Experience | Democrat = Socialist

    15. Pingback: Palin's Op-Ed in WaPo - Politics and Other Controversies - Page 23 - City-Data Forum

    16. Pingback: Climategate Investigation Only Fuels Controversy | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

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