Planet Gore

Cap-and Trade Skepticism

Carbon regulation is a disaster waiting to happen. The potential for economic harm, for corruption and gaming the system, and for governmental intrusion into our homes and offices should not be underestimated.  So I’m always pleased to see voices opposing cap-and-trade. Here are a couple of snippets from this week that do just that. Hopefully, we’ll put on the brakes before our affordable-energy train derails.
Senator John Ensign in the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

President Barack Obama has been shockingly upfront about his heavy-handed plans to govern energy production across the country from Washington, D.C. His plan is known as cap-and-trade, but it amounts to a new national energy tax that will be detrimental to consumers’ pocketbooks at the worst possible time.

During the recent budget debate, it became clear that senators have many different designs on the revenue that would be raised by cap-and-trade. In fact, media reports suggest that the revenue could be used for their government-controlled health care plan.

The bottom line is that our country would face a massive tax increase adding up to some $3,000 per household per year — or $4,560 per family of four, if you prefer. American consumers would pay more just for turning their lights on, keeping their homes warm, and driving their cars. And because energy is an input for other goods and services, Americans would have to pay more to feed their families and put clothes on their backs.

If you think thousands of dollars in a new energy tax is going to end up in your pocket instead of being spent on big government programs and special interests, you haven’t been watching the way Washington works lately.

William O’Keefe in U.S. News & World Report:

The American people have had enough of convoluted, indecipherable financial schemes and the opportunists who exploit them. The public is understandably angry about Wall Street’s exploitation of Main Street, and yet our political leaders are setting the stage for another complex trading market, ripe for corruption. The future Enrons and Bernie Madoffs of the world would like nothing better than to see the U.S. impose a new market for carbon emission trading.

The cap-and-trade system being touted on Capitol Hill would create a multibillion-dollar playground that would, once again, create a group of wealthy traders benefiting at the expense of millions of average families — middle to low-income households that would end up paying more for food, energy, and almost everything else they buy.

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