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CO2's Political Fingerprint

Posted By Robert Gordon On October 30, 2009 @ 11:01 am In Energy | Comments Disabled

Unless they had explicitly named them, the Senate’s Kerry-Boxer and the House’s Waxman-Markey global warming bills could not have been better designed to inflict more pain on the states that swung red in the last election than on those that went blue. The American Clean Energy and Security Act in the Senate and House’s Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act both call for dramatic reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, eventually 83%. (Isn’t it curious that neither bill is titled after the impending global warming catastrophe that they are supposedly designed to avert?)

When EPA’s data [1] for carbon dioxide emissions by state is compared with state populations [2] and the 83% reduction called for in both bills is applied, a particularly eerie pattern emerges for those who live in the states that President Obama failed to carry last November. Namely, the pain inflicted upon them is likely to be much greater as the work that their citizens do, the things that they make (one being energy) and the circumstances of their day to day lives result in higher per capita CO2 emissions from fossil fuels for their state. See the chart below…
redstateclimate4 [3]
Why any elected office holders in the hardest hit states – regardless of partisan affiliation – would consider being party to laws so onerous to their constituency may be puzzling to the average Joe. Politicians, however, know that after enacting onerous laws with one hand, they – and regulators abetting them – can accrue even more power by arranging special treatment of favored constituencies with the other.

Clearly, this approach to looking at emissions per person per state can’t reflect all sorts of realities that would affect and be created by such massive and complex legislation. For example, some of the costs imposed on Texas or Louisiana oil refineries and tagged onto fuel sold across state lines will ripple well beyond those state’s economies. Overall however, that Texas and Louisiana would be hit harder than, say, Massachusetts and California is pretty clear. Non-too-coincidentally, Massachusetts and California happen to be, respectively, in 43rd and 49th place for per capita emissions as well as the states from which both global warming bills’ authors hail. While there would be huge costs under this legislation for these liberal, urban and coastal blue states as well, CO2 fingerprints would be all over the battered economic bodies of the red state victims.


Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2009/10/30/co2s-political-fingerprint/

URLs in this post:

[1] EPA’s data: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/downloads/CO2FFC_2005.pdf

[2] state populations: http://www.census.gov/popest/states/tables/NST-EST2008-01.xls

[3] Image: http://www.foundry.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/redstateclimate3.jpg

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