Free Markets, Free People

Waxman-Markey. Boxer-Kerry. Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off (update)

That is if we’re committed to using science as the basis for our determination of whether or not the House or Senate versions of cap-and-trade are needed. And, as we’ve been pointing out for the last couple of weeks, the science of AGW is shaky at best and continuing to come apart at the seams.

But that hasn’t stopped ye olde sausage factory in the Senate from grinding out another version of CO2 emissions control. The Boxer-Kerry (BK) cap-and-trade bill has emerged with even more stringent caps on CO2 than the Waxman-Markey (WM) bill. BK calls for a 20% overall reduction of 2005 levels by 2020 (17% in WM) and 83% by 2050.

You can get an idea of how BK plans on administering the carbon offset market here. But, like WM, it targets those industries which fuel and power the nation (although unlike WM, it does give a nod to nuclear power and “clean” coal).  However there is evidence that the administration is trying to hide the real impact of such legislation from the American people:

Meanwhile, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) today accused the Treasury Department of continuing to hide information on the cost of climate legislation. In a news release, CEI said it had notified the Treasury Department of its intent to sue over the administration’s “inadequate disclosure of documents” recently requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

Documents released by the Treasury Department two weeks ago show the administration believed climate legislation could cost as much as $300 billion per year, which was much higher than the government’s public estimates, and could result in companies moving overseas. Studies have shown that the Waxman-Markey bill could eliminate 2 million American jobs a year.

2 million jobs a year? See the post below. Add the cost of 300 billion a year and then try to imagine a manufacturer that is a heavy user of energy trying to justify staying here instead of going somewhere else where not only energy, but labor, are cheaper than here.

Thus far BK has about 45 Senators who’ve signed on. Kerry is giddy (this would most likely be his first substantial accomplishment during his Senatorial tenure and naturally it would do more harm than good) saying he thinks the bill has a good shot of passing. But a senior Republican says he knows of no Republicans who would support the bill as written.

Senator Lamar Alexander seems to represent the prevailing thinking of the Senate’s Republicans:

“The Kerry-Boxer bill has fancy, complicated words that add up to high energy costs that will drive U.S. jobs overseas looking for cheap energy,” said Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.

But John Kerry see’s it differently:

Kerry said the event was the “beginning of one of the most important battles we will ever face as legislators and citizens.”

For once, Kerry is right about something, but not for the reason he believes. It is the beginning of one of the most important battle we well ever face and the importance lies in the fact that if passed, this legislation will kill jobs, push companies out of the US and drive our economy off the cliff. That makes it very important in my book. And with Copenhagen’s climate talks coming up in December, Democrats are going to try to push this turkey through so President Obama doesn’t show up empty handed.

The short term goal should be to ensure he does show up empty handed and the long term goal should be to defeat this outright. It’s based on shaky science, it is an economy killer and it will cost us far more than it will ever accomplish in terms of the environment. A much more sensible course would be a comprehensive energy policy which begins to use nuclear power and natural gas as the basis of a transition to clean energy with viable renewable brought on line as they become available while continuing to use and exploit the resources we have available.

Instead we’re being threatened with legislation that’s real purpose is to create a multi-billion dollar revenue stream out of thin air which will cost us jobs, income and our standard of living.

UPDATE: Speaking of Copenhagen and the desire to show up at the climate conference with something positive, it appears that the Obama administration has decided it will act unilaterally instead of wait on Congress.

Unwilling to wait for Congress to act, the Obama administration announced on Wednesday that it was moving forward on new rules to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from hundreds of power plants and large industrial facilities.


But he has authorized the Environmental Protection Agency to begin moving toward regulation, which could goad lawmakers into reaching an agreement. It could also provide evidence of the United States’ seriousness as negotiators prepare for United Nations talks in Copenhagen in December intended to produce an international agreement to combat global warming.

“We are not going to continue with business as usual,” Lisa P. Jackson, the E.P.A. administrator, said Wednesday in a conference call with reporters. “We have the tools and the technology to move forward today, and we are using them.”

The proposed rules, which could take effect as early as 2011, would place the greatest burden on 400 power plants, new ones and those undergoing substantial renovation, by requiring them to prove that they have applied the best available technology to reduce emissions or face penalties.

Phaaa, Congress … who need’s them?



Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

6 Responses to Waxman-Markey. Boxer-Kerry. Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off (update)

  • The mind boggles.

    I’d say that all sensible people want:

    1. A cleaner environment

    2. Less or no dependence on foreign oil

    However, this rush to FORCE us to drastically reduce our use of fossil fuels is absolutely insane. On an individual basis, it’s like a person who believes in global warming taking his car to the junkyard and cutting the electrical and gas lines to his house in the belief that, somehow, some sort of “green” transportation and heating system will magically appear to replace them at no cost in time, money, or inconvenience to him, or at the very least the costs will be bearable.

    Only fools who’ve never really had to work to earn an honest dollar could believe in policies like this. Only cheats who know that they will not personally be affected could push them on the rest of us.

  • “But a senior Republican says he knows of no Republicans who would support the bill as written.”

    That must mean the Maine Senators are on board whole heartedly… lord knows they aren’t Republicans…

  • This garbage will bankrupt us sure as anything.

    And it is not even the best vehicle for getting to less fossil fuel use. That would be a simple tax on fossil fuels, off set by cutting other taxes.

    That, I could get behind, not because of Global bullcrap, but because of lessening our dependence on foreign oil.

    But no, that would be too easy for these stateist simpletons.

    • kyle, why would we WANT to cut fossil fuel use?

      It’s cheap, efficient, and until new technologies come to the fore in a generation or two, it’s the ONLY bet for driving our and the rest of the world economy.

      All the ecobabble is just that: babble.

  • I think it’s wrong to exclude the oil import issue from the discussion. We’re bankrupting the country and subsidizing our real enemies, because we refuse to take a hit we can afford, especially if Obama had the political chops to get Congress to stick to his original idea of auctioning all permits. Then if he’d rebate the money instead of spending it, the damage would be minimized. Of course, a straightforward tax would be even better…

    We should open the outer continental shelf, along with ANWR, subsidize the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel, and push like crazy for the battery technology that will allow us to get practical fully- and mostly-electric vehicles. That’s real national security.