Jobs, jobs, jobs … uh, climate change?
Yes the Democrats have apparently decided that they should focus like a laser beam on … climate change legislation? Given the post below, I’m sure Pat Cauddell and Doug Schoen are soaking their heads right about now.
According to Reuters the Kerry/Lieberman/Graham bill aimed at reducing carbon output is to be introduced April 26th.
President Barack Obama has made climate change one of his top priorities and took steps recently to show Republicans he was serious, including expanding federal aid for building nuclear power facilities and allowing more domestic offshore oil drilling — initiatives to be included in the Senate compromise.
So there are the payoffs for GOP support. How far any of the work necessary to hasten the building of nuke plants or drilling offshore actually comes to fruition is most likely not a priority with the administration. It’s a payoff for support. Whether the GOP will be as gullible as much of the voting public was in 2008 remains to be seen, but my gut says “yes”.
Kerry, Lieberman and Graham have been working for months on a global warming compromise significantly different from a measure passed last year by the House of Representatives and a bill approved by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. It also takes many elements from those bills. Like the House-passed bill and Obama administration policy, it would set a target of 17 percent reductions in smokestack emissions of carbon dioxide by 2020, from 2005 levels. Point Carbon, an energy markets consulting service, estimated the anticipated Senate bill would result in U.S. gasoline prices rising an average of 27 cents a gallon from 2013 to 2020. The bill is expected to contain a fee on motor fuels.
Got it – tax increase of an average 27 cents per gallon. Don’t you love how they tapdance around saying “tax”? It’s a freakin’ tax, not a “fee”. And a very nonprogressive tax to boot that will hit those that can afford it least the hardest. But its called a “fee” so Obama can continue to claim you taxes won’t go up ” one dime”.
Also note that the Senate bill is radically different from the House bill, even though Reuters tries to minimize the differences. You have to wonder how much of an impediment that will be to passage (hopefully a large one). And then, of course, there are all the legislators from coal and oil producing states to contend with.
Moving on, and in my best Billy Mays voice – but wait there’s more:
It would also end state and regional carbon-trading programs, such as the one several Northeastern states participate in, to be replaced by a national carbon reduction policy. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, with 10 participating states from Vermont to Maryland, has raised over $582 million for state efficiency and climate programs, said Environment Northeast, a Boston research group. Peter Shattuck, a carbon markets policy analyst there, said shutting the program could create concerns among the states over lost revenues. A group of nine senators, mostly from Midwestern manufacturing states, urged Kerry, Graham and Lieberman in a letter on Thursday to take into account jobs in their states.
OK, lost jobs. Wow – what a surprise. I’m not here to defend carbon-trading programs but it seems ironic that a climate bill aimed at reducing carbon will put carbon trading programs out of business and cost jobs. In a recession. Wait – aren’t those “green jobs?” Heh …
And if you read the article, they’re very nebulous about how they’re going to enforce this “17% reduction in carbon”. We see the “fee” on motor fuel. But they continue to skirt the issue of how one manages this 17% reduction and what it will cost. But reading other sources prior to this, I’ve seen a carbon tax on utilities discussed as the main source of enforcement – a “cap-and-trade” light was how one referred to it. Obviously if it is a tax on utilities, you can up the cost of just about everything you buy since they all require the power generated by utilities. And you can add that to the motor fuel “fee” you’ll be paying if this is passed as well.
The closest Reuters gets to saying this is:
Like the House-passed bill and Obama administration policy, it would set a target of 17 percent reductions in smokestack emissions of carbon dioxide by 2020, from 2005 levels.
“Smokestack emissions”. You can figure it out from there I imagine.
So is there anything – anything at all good in the bill? Well yes:
On Wednesday, a Senate source told Reuters the legislation would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon dioxide emissions.
But you don’t need the rest of this bill to do that.
Last, but not least, Reuters throws this in to justify the heavy focus on this vs. jobs, the economy or the deficit:
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported on Thursday the world’s combined land and ocean surface temperatures in March were the hottest on record.
I apparently missed all the heat (well, except that generated by my heating system) as did most of Europe. But hey, the science is settled, we all know NOAA’s numbers are perfect and irrefutable and so it is damn the facts, full speed ahead.
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