Planet Gore

Your Tax Dollars at Work

I consider myself hard to stun when it comes to political arrogance. Yet the vote that this missive from the Republican House Energy Action Team addresses is truly beyond my comprehension at the moment. It seems that, despite the well-deserved ridicule of “carbon offsets”, our lawmakers wish to spend millions of your money on them.
Specifically, the House government Reform Committee under “Hollywood” Henry Waxman (D-CA) agreed to create a new litigation pathway where plaintiffs can sue to make the government buy these indulgences in a mandatory drive to be “carbon neutral”. (The amendment also exposes the taxpayer to liability for paying plaintiffs — “aggrieved parties” in the bills’ parlance, and their lawyers, of course — who the federal government has “harmed” by causing global warming.  Investment advice: Go long on environmental ambulance chasers in the 9th circuit, whose judges love such claims.)
Where that “offset” money would go is anyone’s guess.  Al Gore and his company is one option, though the Financial Times notes it’s all a scam, anyway.
This seems an odd moment to so brazenly poke an electorate already suspicious in the face of an abandoned promise to eliminate earmarks, antagonized over a reminder of how the government inefficiently squanders their tax dollars, and fresh off a (for now successful) revolt involving “twelve million undocumented Americans“.
Worse, this comes in the same legislation in which our inefficient but free-spending government also seeks to impose mandates on the private sector to stop being what Congress just knows is too inefficient with the private sector’s own money — a so-called “energy bill” that does little more than restrict supplies of energy including in ways that will drive up the cost of food (more than it already has), fuel, electricity and cars.
In a mood reminiscent of that circa the House banking scandal, Congress certainly tempts fate with this expensive posturing by casting hard-earned taxpayer dollars on a recognized scam like “carbon offsets”.

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