A Summary of the Article ”Cap and Trade” Published in The New American Magazine
October 11, 2009
This article is a summary of points made in the article ”Cap and Trade”, by Ed Hiserodt for ”The New American Magazine,” September 17, 2009. The article discusses issues concerning the 1,400 page ”American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009” (Resolution 587) which was rushed through the US Congress on June 26, 2009 without adequate time for the bill to be read or for any meaningful debate. The act was passed by a vote of 219-212 and was essentially ignored by the media. The US Senate is now considering the bill.
It is explained how the legislation is meant to give government unprecedented power to control the allocation of energy resources through the use of taxable and tradable ”emission allowances” which are based on the amount of Carbon Dioxide that each business would be calculated to be putting into the atmosphere. The legislation would amount to being an extremely expensive energy tax that would be wastefully applied and having much potential for abuse by political elites.
Following are key points made in the article speaking about the recently passed ”American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009”:
- The legislation imposes government established limits on emissions of Carbon Dioxide and other greenhouse gasses except water vapor for all business entities, despite the fact that many questions exist about man’s contribution of those gasses having a significant effect on the actual warming of the climate— with an example cited being the fact that many computer simulations are now showing that the proposed CO2 reductions would only result in the reduction of temperature rise of less than one degree Fahrenheit by the end of the century. Also mentioned is the fact that none of the 22 most cited computer climate models were able to accurately predict the extent of the cooling of the atmosphere which has happened during this decade.
- The proposed laws would give big government and politicians unprecedented control over the allocation of energy resources, which would mean that businesses would have to ”contribute” to campaigns of increasingly powerful political bosses in order to survive, and decision making would also be delegated to environmental advocates whose goal is not a vibrant industrial economy but rather drastic reductions of energy consumption rates to pre-1900 levels. Decisions concerning every facet of the personal lives of all citizens would be effected by this legislation, as well as the United State’s foreign relations and international commerce being heavily effected.
- The bill is over 1,428 pages and it is full of confusing and ambiguous language. Also the bill relies on many regulations and codes which are defined elsewhere and difficult for the average citizen to obtain.
- Sections of the legislation define specifically what ”cap and trade” means, referring to how the Federal Government would issue a limited number of tradable ”emission allowances” representing units of greenhouse gasses being emitted for virtually every business. Many of the allowances would initially be given out for free and then progressively limited over time as the value of the allowances and resulting tax revenue generated increases for the government.
- Implementation of ”cap and trade” legislation includes electric utility companies initially receiving 43 percent of the total free allowances in 2012 which would then be progressively reduced to zero by 2030, making the utilities ”fight it out” to get the increasingly scarce and expensive allowances. Also, oil refineries would initially receive only 2 percent of the free allowances— which would make them initially need to dramatically raise their prices out of range of being competitive against petroleum from overseas, thus putting many out of business.
- Potential of abuse by ”traders” and ”brokers” of carbon credits exists, and Al Gore is said to be on the verge of becoming the first ”global warming billionaire,” and also Ken Lay of the Enron scandal was very interested in the idea of ”cap and trade.”
- A snapshot of near future scenarios of the legislation being implemented shows the rise of a huge bureaucracy associated with managing the endless tasks associated with determining and tracking emissions allocations, energy costs skyrocketing due to the new system, the administrator of the EPA having great power in deciding how the carbon credits would be distributed, and even potential problems cropping up which could lead to starvation in poorer countries due to the accumulation and sale of carbon credits associated with the agriculture business.
- For an average American family, the legislation would increase yearly natural gas costs by $519, the yearly bill for coal generated electricity would be $3,800, the cost of gasoline would rise by $1 per gallon, and the prices of consumer products would also rise by a significant amount as well.
- Wind and solar power are widely viewed by many as being ”energy salvation,” however they have many practical limitations in replacing traditional power sources.
- A large proportion of the new ”green” jobs would be created for staffing massive bureaucracies necessary to manage emission allocations used by all American businesses and eventually also households. Also an ”energy police” would monitor the amount of energy use as well as making sure that the energy being used comes from renewable sources.
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has started to investigate the potential of harm resulting from ”cap and trade” legislation, as has requested that the Environmental Protection Agency hold a hearing proving the legitimacy of evidence for man-made global warming, and the EPA is expected to deny the request. The Chamber of Commerce has created the Alliance for Clear Climate Economics and Science Solutions (ACCESS) which is to ensure that regulation of greenhouse gasses is based on sound science and will not harm the economy.
- The EPA is not being forthcoming with a recent research report showing that CO2 is not the forcing agent for a warming planet, and the researcher Alan Carlin has presented data showing that solar activity and possibly related Pacific decadal oscillations were likely the causes of the rise in global temperatures that started at the end of the Little Ice Age in the late 1800’s and continuing today.
- In closing, the article mentions that great economic damage could happen to the country after only a few year if the legislation is implemented, explaining that the ramifications of the ”cap and trade” legislation would be far more extreme than the current health care legislation which is currently being opposed by many citizens.
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