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The Nation Killer: Cap-and-Trade Act

July 5, 2010

There are many reasons why the Cap-and-Trade Act will harm the future of the nation, but among the worst is that it is entirely based on a lie. The very worst, however, is that it is a nation killer.

Cap-and-Trade is intended to set up a trade scheme in “carbon credits” that is estimated to be worth a trillion dollars if enacted. The rationale is the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2), to avoid global warming.

There is no global warming and no need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions!

The vast bulk of CO2 is natural. The Earth, via ocean warming and solar radiation, produces 97% of the CO2 in the atmosphere. The amount of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere is 386 parts per million. The atmosphere is essentially and overwhelmingly water vapor. CO2 plays no role in climate change.

Cap-and-Trade is a tax on energy use and Americans are constantly told that energy use in any form—coal, oil, natural gas, or nuclear—is bad. That’s not just a lie, it is insane.

Americans are told that “renewable” or “clean” energy can replace the energy generated by the use of coal, natural gas, and by nuclear plants. Solar and wind energy can never achieve this. They depend on totally unpredictable sources, the sun and wind. All such “green energy” must have existing plants as backup.

Green energy is extremely expensive. Wind power costs 75% more than power from coal. Solar energy is 570% to 887% more expensive than coal.

Green energy produces electricity. Oil is mostly not used for this purpose, but one of the primary “reasons” offered for Cap-and-Trade is a reduction in the importation of oil. There is literally no connection between the two.

Cap-and-Trade authorizes the government to set a limit on the amount of carbon dioxide that can be produced. It then gives existing industries credits for the amount they are already producing. Those industries can then use the credits or trade them on exchanges set up for that purpose.

Renamed the “American Power Act”, the bill put forth by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) borders on being an act of treason against all Americans.

The Institute for Energy Research commissioned Chamberlain Economics to do an economic and distributional analysis. Here are some of their findings:

  • The American Power Act would reduce U.S. employment by roughly 522,000 jobs by 2015, rising to more than 5.1 million jobs by 2050.
  • U.S. households would face a gross annual burden of $125.9 billion per year or $1,042 per household. The costs would be disproportionately borne by low-income households and senior citizens.

In July 2009, Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Olympia Snow (R-ME) introduced a bill to make the Commodity Futures Trading Commission the sole regulator of the carbon market that Cap-and-Trade creates. It is an independent agency of the federal government. Here are some facts the mainstream media are not reporting:

  • The chairman of the CFTC is Gary Gensler. Formerly employed by Goldman Sachs, he was nominated by President Obama.
  • Goldman Sachs is a part owner of the Chicago-based exchange where carbon allowances would be traded.
  • Goldman Sachs has spent millions of dollars lobbying for Cap-and-Trade legislation in anticipation of making billions at the expense of taxpayers and energy consumers.
  • Goldman Sachs employees are heavy contributors to the Democrat Party, giving it more than $4.4 million in the 2008 election. Barack Obama’s campaign received more than $997,000.

Utilities and investment banks in the U.S. and Europe see carbon trading, a wholly fictitious new financial instrument, as a huge new profit center. Carbon trading could top $1 trillion a year by 2020.

This totally artificial “market” will create a “bubble” that, when it bursts, will dwarf the losses that have occurred in the sub-prime mortgage meltdown that caused the current financial crisis.

Meanwhile, hidden within the Cap-and-Trade bill is a provision prohibiting homeowners from selling their homes unless they completely retrofit their homes to comply with energy and water efficiency standards. The costs will, for many, make it impossible to sell their home.

A Wall Street Journal editorial stated that “The whole point of Cap-and-Trade is to hike the price of electricity and gas…These higher prices will show up not just in electricity bills or at the gas station, but in every manufactured good, from food to cars…Americans should know that those Members (of Congress) who vote for this climate bill are voting for what is likely to be the biggest tax in American history.”

There no scientific or economic justification for the passage of Cap-and-Trade legislation. The President knows this. The Democrats in Congress know this. It’s more than just a tax. It is a nation killer.

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Copyright ©2010 Alan Caruba

Alan Caruba is an American public relations counselor and freelance writer who is a frequent critic of environmentalism, Islam and research on global warming. In the late 1970s Caruba founded the PR firm The Caruba Organization, and in 1990, the National Anxiety Center, which identifies itself as "a clearinghouse for information about 'scare campaigns' designed to influence public policy and opinion" on such subjects as global warming, ozone depletion and DDT.