Friday, April 10, 2009

Cap-and-Trade: Round Two

When Congress returns from Easter recess, the debate on climate change legislation, and cap-and-trade in particular, will begin again. Last summer, the Senate briefly debated the Lieberman-Warner bill which would have established a cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That bill died in the Senate.

Now, the debate will take place in the House of Representatives. Last week, Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Edward Markey (D-MA) introduced a climate change bill that will be the focus of the debate (a link to a summary of the bill is provided below).

While many people are skeptical that a bill can pass both the House and Senate this year, this is a debate worth watching and engaging in, particularly for Midwest businesses. Some people see the legislation as a transfer of wealth from Midwest states - that use coal and are manufacturing centers - to West and East Coast states. In the Senate, Indiana Democrat Evan Bayh has formed a coalition of moderate Democrats who are very concerned about the cost to consumers and the loss of manufacturing jobs in their states that would result from a cap-and-trade program.

Those costs could be staggering. As noted in other posts, the Obama Administration budget projects a cap-and-trade program will raise $646 billion over 10 years. Administration officials have been quoted as saying that the initial estimate may be low and that the program could raise as much as $2 trillion over 10 years. $2 trillion! And as the Wall Street Journal editorial below notes, the Waxman-Markey bill could impact everything in your home from lamps to light bulbs to appliances.

We get all these added costs with no guarantee that greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced as U.S. businesses are driven out of the country to unregulated developed countries which will only drive global greenhouse gas emissions higher.

Get ready for round 2.

The American Clean Energy and Security Act Of 2009

Wall Street Journal: “Henry Waxman Has a Plan … for your living room, showerhead, jacuzzi….”

Moderate Democrat Group

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