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The Senate’s Bait-and-Switch on Cap-and-Trade

Posted By Dan Holler On April 21, 2010 @ 1:30 pm In Ongoing Priorities | Comments Disabled

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Speaking to Politico [2], John Kerry told them it was up to Harry Reid to pass Cap-and-Trade

In the end, it will be Sen. Reid’s responsibility, as majority leader, to put the pieces together as he did on health care and to decide how the Senate is going to proceed.

In other words, the Senate plans to force sweeping, expensive, job-destroying changes to America’s energy policy in much the same way they forced ObamaCare upon unwilling Americans.  Next week, Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) plan to unveil their plan aimed at combating global warming, an issue that Americans rank as the country’s least pressing priority [3].  With gas prices already surpassing $3 per gallon in some locations, Americans will have little appetite for another energy tax proposal.

Unfortunately, liberal policymakers will not hesitate to move forward with unpopular and economically harmful policies – see ObamaCare.  Would liberals dare move forward on Kerry-Graham-Lieberman, which may include a sector-by-sector (i.e., preferential industry treatment) cap-and-trade scheme and a hidden gas tax?  Probably not, but they are positioning themselves to move swiftly on an equally destructive and innocuous sounding renewable electricity standard (RES).

How will this happen?

After Kerry, Graham and Lieberman unveil their plan, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will begin working behind closed doors to craft a proposal he believes can win the support of 60 Senators.  As part of that effort, he will jettison the cap-and-trade and gas tax provisions proposed by the trio of Senators.  In its place, he will insert the RES approved by the Senate Energy Committee last year.  And, as with ObamaCare, a lot of goodies will be doled out to special interests.

If Reid decides to bring a bill to the floor in June, he will argue the absence of cap-and-trade and a gas tax makes it worthy of broad-based support.  The media may embrace that logic, but it should not fool Americans who are concerned about jobs and the economy.  An RES will mandate the use of inefficient, expensive and unproven energy sources.  That combination will weaken the economy, resulting in less jobs and lower standards of living.

Americans should make no distinction between cap-and-trade, energy taxes or an RES.  Granting the government a more prominent, powerful role in selecting our energy sources will guarantee energy that is more expensive and less consumer choice in the future.  Backroom deals.  Less consumer choice.  More expensive.  Sounds a lot like ObamaCare.


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URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2010/04/21/the-senate%e2%80%99s-bait-and-switch-on-cap-and-trade/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.foundry.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/johnkerry3.gif

[2] Politico: http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=1259D588-18FE-70B2-A839D676B33CCCC9

[3] least pressing priority: http://people-press.org/report/584/policy-priorities-2010

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