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About "cap and trade"
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Heritage Foundation reminds us that the cap and trade system that Europe instituted has been an abysmal failure:
One need only look to Europe to see both why America still needs coal, and how cap-and-trade policies are doomed for failure. The European Union’s cap-and-trade program is in complete collapse as much of Eastern Europe, Italy, and Germany are all demanding exemptions from their carbon limits. Not only has the EU’s cap-and-trade failed to actually reduce carbon emissions, but even if the reductions were met, they would have no impact on world temperatures. Meanwhile, Germany plans to build 27 coal-fired plants by 2020. Italy plans to increase its reliance on coal from 14% today to 33% in just five years. In all of Europe, 40 new major coal power plants are set to be built in the next five years.

While the rest of the world is adding power supply, we are subtracting it. Obama’s allies at the National Resources Defense Council have stopped construction on 65 coal plants and 13 natural gas plants nationwide. Right now, the U.S. has 760 gigawatts of power to meet consumption. We will need 135 gigawatts of new capacity over the next decade to keep the lights on, but right now only 57 gigawatts of power are planned. Coal supplies almost half of our nation’s electricity and more than 20% of our nation’s total energy consumption. We need more coal plants, not less. Despite decades of subsidies, alternative energies such as wind and solar power contribute only 1% of our nation’s energy needs.
Now if you listen to Obama's little SF spiel, he said that he would institute a "100%" system. That means no exemptions. None. McCain has said he'd exempt certain sectors - energy, transportation, small business. That doesn't make it acceptable in my book, but it answers the question about the difference between the two cap and trade policies.

Anyway, as you can see, with the Obama plan, there will be no new coal fired plants and he certainly isn't a fan of nuclear power either. Oil fired? Yeah, right.

So, in the short run any of the 57 gigawatts of the power that is planned that is planned using a coal fired plant will need to go back to the drawing board under Obama's plan. And the remaining 78 gigawatts isn't even planned.

Remember that remark about electricity prices "skyrocketing"? There's the reason. 135 gigawatts of unmet demand means that we'll be rationing electricity at some point in the future and that rationing will be done by price.

Power isn't something that government can successfully "redistribute" is it? It will effect all.

There's an additional kicker in all of this when talking about the virtual elimination of coal:
[Obama's] cap-and-trade program would end thousands of coal-related jobs throughout the country and send electricity costs soaring. But the damage would not end there. This summer Heritage’s Center for Data Analysis studied Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (D-CT) much more lenient cap-and-trade plan and found it would kill 1 million American jobs and cause a loss of $4.8 trillion in our gross domestic product by 2030. The economic costs of Obama’s more stringent plan can only be worse.
Apparently, however, we'll again ignore the failure of such a system in Europe with the belief they simply haven't done it correctly. One wonders if it will take 5+ trilliion in economic losses and millions of jobs to finally wake up to the reality of the hoax or whether we'll let Obama's plan "work" and willingly relegate ourselves to a diminished economic status in the world.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

1.21 gigawatts? 1.21 gigawatts? Great Scott! The only power source capable of generating 1.21 gigawatts of electricity is a bolt of lightning.
Written By: Doc Brown
URL: http://
Power isn’t something that government can successfully "redistribute" is it?
Oh ye of little faith...
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
Such illogical, stupidity. Texas Utilities had already canceled coal fired units due to uncertainty. What of the 30+ nukes in the real planning stages. Obama wants a 15% reduction in energy use (maybe government controlled current limiters as welfare people have and the local utility offers in return for lower rates - i.e. rationing?), growth in alternative energy production and electric cars; mutually exclusive goals to me.

Our standard of living growth depends on energy expansion. Already we are short spinning reserve; note recent CA problems with their decades old NIMBY attitude. Incentives work much better than laws as Europe has shown. Apparently our leaders and countrymen and women have a very short sighted view of what it takes to grow an economy and a standard of living.
Written By: amr
URL: http://
"135 gigawatts of unmet demand means that we’ll be rationing electricity at some point in the future and that rationing will be done by price.

Power isn’t something that government can successfully "redistribute" is it? "

But that won’t stop Obama, with both houses of Congress controlled by his party, from trying. Remember the gas lines of the 70s? Obama and the Dems will probably institute price controls to deal with rising prices. This will lead to shortages. Since you can’t wait in line for something like electricity there will probably be blackouts. So what do you think the result will be then? My guess is that government will put the blame on the market and nationalize the energy companies. It would not surprise me in the slightest if this was the actual goal.

Written By: tkc
URL: http://
1.21 gigawatts is a medium sized new nuclear reactor. the largest you can buy is 1.6 GW.

The nuclear industry will have enough on its plate to build McCain’s 45 new reactors by 2030. Replacing coal build will be very difficult.

When you read about "Smart Grid" or "demand response" just think remote-controlled rationing. Remember the California thermostat proposal of this winter?
Written By: Joseph Somsel
URL: http://
tkc - Since you can’t wait in line for something like electricity there will probably be blackouts. So what do you think the result will be then? My guess is that government will put the blame on the market and nationalize the energy companies. It would not surprise me in the slightest if this was the actual goal.

Bingo. That’s quite a club to wield come election time: "Vote for us or the power to your house gets turned off."

But where have we read about the effects of too much government regulation of power before? Hmmm... Where could it have been?
The hallway smelt of boiled cabbage and old rag mats. At one end of it a coloured poster, too large for indoor display, had been tacked to the wall. It depicted simply an enormous face, more than a metre wide: the face of a man of about forty-five, with a heavy black moustache and ruggedly handsome features. Winston made for the stairs. It was no use trying the lift. Even at the best of times it was seldom working, and at present the electric current was cut off during daylight hours. It was part of the economy drive in preparation for Hate Week. The flat was seven flights up, and Winston, who was thirty-nine and had a varicose ulcer above his right ankle, went slowly, resting several times on the way. On each landing, opposite the lift-shaft, the poster with the enormous face gazed from the wall. It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption beneath it ran.

George Orwell

McQ - Power isn’t something that government can successfully "redistribute" is it?

Three methods:

1. Put some sort of automatic meter / shutoff on peoples’ homes and businesses: you get some many kW-hr per day / week, and the thing will shut the power off if you exceed this limit.

2. "Rolling blackouts" so that people get at least some power during the day, as in Oceania above.

3. Government "subsidies" to help "the needy" pay for electricity. Once again, quite a nice club to wield at election time: "Vote for me or your electrical power subsidy will be taken away." Also, quite a nice club to use against industry that might balk at unionization or any of the dems’ other regulatory schemes: "I’m sorry, but your business doesn’t meet the requirements for a federal power supply permit..."

Hopefully, these are alarmist nightmares that won’t come to pass. However, based on what we saw in California when a dem (spit) was in the governor’s mansion, I wouldn’t be surprised to see large parts of the country start suffering from brownouts and blackouts, followed by the Congress responding by nationalizing the power companies AND imposing price controls AND coming up with various schemes to decide who gets what power that there is. Natch, the misery we all suffer will be the oil companies’ fault. Oh, and Bush.

There’s no limit to the mischief you can do when you get to blame somebody else.
Written By: docjim505
URL: http://
Remember how they slid the reduction in toilet bowl water usage into a law. And incandescent light bulbs, too, for that matter. They feel nothing is beyond their oversight.
Written By: Crusader
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Written By: 2
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Written By: 7

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