• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Public Still Not Sure What Cap and Trade Is, but They Will If It Passes

    Maybe John Kerry and President Obama and proponents of a cap and trade system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions still have time to change message. “I don’t know what ‘cap and trade’ means. I don’t think the average American does,’ Kerry said recently. And he’s right. According to a new poll released from the Pew Research Center, “just 23% of Americans are aware that legislation often referred to as “cap and trade” concerns energy and environmental policy.” The other choices were banking reform, health care and unemployment.

    To be fair, those who answered unemployment should have at least received half credit since cap and trade is a jobs-destroying bill but the real issue is that the American public is still unsure of what cap and trade is and what it will mean for the economy – making it all that more important to convey that cap and trade is a significant energy tax that will do nothing to improve the environment.

    The Pew response closely follows that of a Rasmussen poll released in May when only 24% of respondents chose energy and environment when asked what cap and trade dealt with given only three options: healthcare, Wall Street, or the environment. More people (29%) said Wall Street and 30% said they did not know.

    Senator Kerry should know what cap and trade is since he’s introduced a cap and trade bill with Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA). But they’re not calling it a cap and trade bill; in the summary of the bill, Kerry and Boxer removed the phrase “cap and trade” and replaced it with “Pollution Reduction and Investment.” How clever. Carbon dioxide is now carbon pollution. And a green job is too nebulous of a term. It’s now a clean jobs bill.

    But the reality is it’s neither a pollution reduction bill nor a job-creating bill. The message should be simple: Cap and trade is a massive energy tax that will destroy far more jobs than it creates. Robert Reich, former secretary of labor under Bill Clinton who also served on President Obama’s transition advisory board, told NPR’s Marketplace: “Look, any cut in greenhouse gases is going to be expensive for American consumers, who are in no mood to bear additional costs.”

    Despite repeated attempts, most notably by President Obama and Nancy Pelosi, to sell cap and trade as a jobs bill, not one of the major studies of cap and trade (including the three government agencies) projected a net increase in income or employment from cap and trade. The entire debate has been over the magnitude of income, consumption and job losses. The chief of the CBO’s recent testimony on reducing greenhouse gases “contrasted sharply with those of President Obama and congressional Democratic leaders, who have suggested that a cap on carbon emissions would help revive the U.S. economy.”

    The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis paints a more realistic picture for this country’s economy with cap and trade in place. When all the tax impacts have been added up, we find that the average per-family-of-four costs rise by almost $3,000 per year. In the year 2035 alone, the tax impact is $4,600. And if you add up the costs per family for the whole energy tax aggregated from 2012 to 2035, the years in which we modeled the bill, it’s about $71,500. The analysis of Waxman-Markey predicts net job losses (after accounting for green job creation) approach 1.9 million in 2012 and could approach 2.5 million by 2035. Manufacturing loses 1.4 million jobs in 2035.

    With a cap and trade bill passed in the House and a Senate version introduced, education about this energy tax should be just like the energy drink (or Charlie’s Angles Two): full throttle.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to Public Still Not Sure What Cap and Trade Is, but They Will If It Passes

    1. Freedom of Speech, T says:

      Mr. Swiftboat and Ma'am Boxer are just like the energizer bunnies. They just keep misleading, misleading, misleading.

      Isn't repackaging and labeling wonderful. I'm sure there are marketing jobs available to them in the private sector, for sure in California and Massachuestts.


      Now, to the ignorant and uninformed, that sounds harmless enough, doesn't it? Another glorious cause which will further hamstring Americans and not reduce – anything – but your pocketbook.

      With internet, blogging, camera phones, the 24 hour cable TV news cycle (really only FOX), old politicians just do not get it.

      Less and less people are going to be misled and fooled in the future. The "old" way of "leading" constituents is going bye bye.

      Like pulling a kicking and screaming little tot away from the toy department, CITIZENS are demanding that pols start being forthright.

      ENOUGH of the games. WE ARE NOT IMPRESSED.

      The real challenge is ensuring that the "rules of law" aren't changed before our eyes allowing intrusive government control over mass communications medium. That is what marxists dream of.

      Be ever VIGILANT and STAY INFORMED on any legislation attacking freedom of speech, internet, radio, and TV.

      Finally, if it SMELLS like CAP N' TRADE – it is CAP N' TRADE.

    2. Tommi Reinikainen, B says:

      Finland says aims to cut emissions 80 pct by 2050 http://in.reuters.com/article/oilRpt/idINLF631026

    3. Bob, Portland, OR says:

      Cap and Trade is another method of taxing Americans who have "excess money" who according to the far left are made up of mostly small business people.

      An estitmate of the combined increase in taxes for both the public option health insurance and cap and trade is 26% over what we paqy now.

      Oh there will be new billionaries made resulting from this cap and trade thing. Al Gore for one.

      Let's examine something that has been ocurring in our country for a while. Why is it that the far left doesn't want us to drill for oil, burn coal, explore for more natural gas?

      Why are we intentionally taking down our domestic energy?

      Why, because when it hits rock bottom there will be some new investors in it and don't be suprised that they will be made up of gore, soros, waxman, pelosie, boxer etc.

      Then watch them, in the spirit of the good of the people, start producing oil, coal natural gas etc at a record pace.

      They will all become the new billionaires as a result.

      This can't happpen.

    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.