I appreciate so many folks understanding my night off last night. I try not to take a night off of writing very often. I went back to school a couple of years ago to pursue another degree. I graduate in 3 weeks. I will have so much more free time then. I cannot wait. Thank you to everyone who submitted some ideas for what to write about tonight. I vow to cover all the ideas submitted over the next week or two. But it seemed as though the one that was wanted by the majority was the cap and trade discussion. So that is what we will cover. I know it is confusing to many, because the name doesn’t really tell us what it is about, but we all need to be paying attention to this one. And we need to rally against it hard….
OK, let’s begin with a quick recap of exactly what cap and trade is. I know a lot of folks are now hearing this in the news and aren’t sure what it is or how it works. And how can we expect them to be up in arms about it when they don’t understand why it is bad. Because of course the government isn’t going to call it the “We’re going to use taxes to tell you how to live Act of 2009”. Let’s say up front that the entire “stated premise” for why cap and trade is needed is to stem the disaster of global warming. That is why we need to do this. And you all know what I think of the crackpots who claim global warming is real… So what is cap and trade?
Cap and trade is a program that basically sets a cap for emissions and then holds people below that cap. Here’s how a cap and trade system works: The government (because we trust them) sets a “cap” on the amount of emissions that can be produced within a given area. For example they say that your town, USA is allowed to produce 100 metric tons of carbon emissions. They then auction off the right to be the one producing the emissions. For our example let’s say that they break the 100 metric tons into 1 metric ton”permits”. And they auction those permits off to the ten residents of Your Town.
So let’s assume each of the towns ten residents purchase ten permits each so the emissions allowance in the town basically end up with resident 1 through 10 each having ten permits for 1 ton meaning each can redeem those permits for a total of 10 metric tons per home. Now Mr. Smith’s home uses a wood burning stove and he uses that a lot, because he likes it to be warm. And his output for the year would be 12 metric tons, but he only has the permits to emit 10 tons. He will have to cut back on using his stove in order to not break the rules.
However, Mr. Brown uses a clean burning gas fireplace, so he will only emit 8 tons over the year, so he has two permits for additional tons that he doesn’t need. So he is allowed to sell his two permits, along with the right to emit a ton with each, to Mr. Smith in order to make a profit on his unneeded permits. This would be the “trade” portion. And this would allow Mr. Smith to redeem those permits for a total of 12 tons, which meets his needs. Meanwhile so long as only those 100 permits are used, the government has controlled emissions within Your Town, USA.
Over time the government would each year begin to allow a lower cap, reducing emissions overall. It should be noted that thus far cap and trade programs have been aimed at businesses, not individuals in a town. Of course businesses would pass theses costs on to you consumers, but we won’t get into that. Government gets to set an arbitrary number, and all of those falling under the “cap” area can trade their 100 permits around all they want in order to meet individual needs. All sounds fair right?
Wrong. I have a lot of problems with this. Not only is this nothing more than a means for government to further control people and, while they are at it, find another way to bilk Americans out of even more of their money. Let’s talk about how this great plan actually works out. It has been done before, for the reduction of sulfur emissions causing acid rain through the Clean Air Act. It worked in that instance. It has been tried by the European Union for carbon. The result has been a net increase in emissions since the beginning of the program. But let’s get to the heart of the problem.
Senators Joe Lieberman (I, CT) and John Warner (R, VA) have proposed the Climate Security Act (S. 2191) which would impose cap and trade on carbon emissions, under the premise that we need to reduce carbon emissions in order to save our planet from global warming. Its requirement that emissions decline to 15 percent below 2005 levels by 2020–even in the face of a growing population and rising energy demand–sets a very difficult target. I won’t even get into the fact that global warming is bullshit. And we have not found any true evidence (outside of Al Gore’s “facts”) that can prove any link between human caused carbon emissions and a rise in global temperatures.
But we don’t need proof that carbon emissions are bad in order to find a way to tax the public for them, now do we. No sir-eee. We’ll just enlist the main stream media to scare people into believing it is true and they will go along quietly and understand our need to tax them yet again, for their own good of course.
Putting a cap and trade program in place for carbon emissions won’t be cheap. Charles River Associates is a leading global consulting firm that offers economic, financial, and business management expertise to major law firms, industries, accounting firms, and governments around the world. They put the cost of S. 2191 at $800 to $1,300 per household by 2015, rising to $1,500 to $2,500 by 2050. Electricity prices could jump by 36-67% by 2015 and 80-125% by 2050. No analysis has been done on the impact of S. 2191 on gasoline prices, but an EPA study of a less stringent cap and trade bill estimates impacts of 26¢/gal. by 2030 and 68¢ by 2050.
So energy costs would obviously increase because of the cap and trade programs. Limiting the supply of fossil fuels available for consumers, cap and trade means higher priced gas and electricity as well as job losses in energy-dependent sectors. Senator Lieberman himself concedes costs into the hundreds of billions of dollars. And as the Congressional Budget Office has noted, such energy cost increases act as a regressive tax on the poor (see how the poor get screwed through the back door while Obama promises to help them through the front door?).
The net job losses from S. 2191 are estimated by Charles River Associates to be 1.2 to 2.3 million by 2015. Some job losses will be permanent due to the impact of higher energy costs on economic activity. Others, chiefly in the manufacturing sector, will be sent overseas. In the very likely event that S. 2191 significantly raises domestic manufacturing costs and that developing nations refuse to impose similar restrictions, the American economy could experience a substantial outsourcing of manufacturing jobs to those nations with lower energy costs. Because we need yet another government program forcing jobs overseas.
While the costs of aggressive cap and trade proposals seem substantial, the environmental benefits are less than equal in proportion. This is true even if one fully accepts the claim of man-made global warming. The most ambitious measure to date is the Kyoto Protocol, but even if the U.S. were a party to this treaty and the European nations and other signatories were in full compliance (they are not looking like they will meet targets), the treaty might reduce the Earth’s future temperature by an estimated 0.07 degrees Celsius by 2050, an amount too small even to verify. S. 2191 would at best do only a little more. In other words, the ends just don’t justify the means.
But here is my real rub, if you will allow me on my soap box for a moment. Things like this are the reason why Democrats have shoved the global warming hoax down our throats. Just like they have done with the economy, they are using a “Crisis” as a means to fool the public into giving the government more control. If we didn’t have an economic “crisis”, we wouldn’t need the socialist policies the Messiah is implementing. If we didn’t have a global warming “crisis”, we wouldn’t need cap and trade policies like this. If we didn’t have a terrorist “crisis” (that’s right republicans don’t get a free pass on this tactic either), we wouldn’t need the so called Patriot Act. These are all moves by politicians to get the people to agree to measures that take away our freedoms and our rights and concede power to the federal government. (And coming soon to a theater near you, mark my words, is a gun death crisis that means we need government to take guns away from the public too)
Cap and trade on carbon emissions from business is a first step. I used to think it laughable that the government might think they have the right to tax us for breathing. But we sure do seem to be getting awful close to that, don’t we. How soon before we see an individual carbon cap and trade, that is “needed” so that the government can raise revenue in order to defeat global warming for us poor defenseless citizens? I wouldn’t laugh too hard at that one. It may be closer than you think.
A couple of links for you all to peruse:
One from the Union of Concerned Scientists that lays out what an effective cap and trade program would look like. I recommend you read this madness: We Need a Well-Designed Cap-and-Trade Program to Fight Global Warming | Union of Concerned Scientists
One on Republican Senators opposing it, but only for now during a recession, and on Obama’s stance on the use of cap and trade: AFP: US senators attack cap-and-trade for climate change
One from the Heritage Foundation. This was the one where I pulled the majority of my statistics for this article and I wish to cite it as a source accordingly: Beware of Cap and Trade Climate Bills