Jun 22

I just watched this video of Sen. John Kerry on MSNBC discussing his efforts at getting a cap and trade bill passed.  True to the recent trend Lurch avoids discussion of “cap and trade” and instead focuses on the phrase “putting a price on carbon” or variations thereof:

Lurch:

Our bill does not rely on so-called cap and trade, it’s got a very minimal, uh, mechanism in there, but it really relies on the pricing of carbon which comes by setting a target for the reduction of emissions.  That’s how you price carbon.

The term “pricing carbon” is nothing more than taxing carbon, but that’s obviously a tougher sell in this Tea Party era. Last year when “cap and trade” was the favored term by the Democrats, it was nearly universally referred to by smart aleck opponents as “cap and tax”. So why have these same folks fallen victim to the Dems linguistic trickery, and not recognized that the term “pricing carbon” is nothing more than a dishonest way to say “taxing carbon”.

Let’s start calling it what it is. It’s taxing carbon.

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Sep 01

The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes:

Health care isn’t the only destructive White House priority running into trouble in the Senate. Yesterday, Barbara Boxer (Marin County) and John Kerry (Nantucket) announced that Democrats won’t release their cap-and-trade bill next week as scheduled after all, but will instead postpone it for up to a month. It’s far too early to say that carbon tax and cap is dead, but mark this delay down as one more sign that it remains well short of 60 votes.

The House barely passed the Waxman-Markey climate bill in June, and only after weeks of arm-twisting and outright legislative bribery and at significant political cost to Blue Dog Democrats. The same tactics won’t be as effective in the upper chamber. In any case Ms. Boxer, Mr. Kerry and President Obama really have to convince Members of their own party, such as Kent Conrad (North Dakota), Jay Rockefeller (West Virginia) and Blanche Lincoln (Arkansas).

The latest delay is probably a submission to reality, which is a rare thing in the current political environment—and a major victory for the U.S. economy, at least for now.

A potential paradox here is that if cap and trade goes down in flames, it will be yet another political disaster for the Obama administration, and yet the unintended consequence may be that said failure will raise the odds of an economic recovery that Obama will shamelessly take credit for. But, the stain of the legislative failure will remain forever.

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Aug 25

Via my friend Todd Wynn at the Cascade Policy Institute:

Cascade Policy Institute has just released the trailer for their new documentary on cap and trade called, Climate in Chains.

The video features, Wynn, Chris Horner and Marlo Lewis, among others.

Cascade Policy also produced one of my favorite videos, Karma Neutral Offsets.

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Aug 12

The Wall Street Journal reports:

In the 1960s, a University of Wisconsin graduate student named Thomas Crocker came up with a novel solution for environmental problems: cap emissions of pollutants and then let firms trade permits that allow them to pollute within those limits.

Now legislation using cap-and-trade to limit greenhouse gases is working its way through Congress and could become the law of the land. But Mr. Crocker and other pioneers of the concept are doubtful about its chances of success. They aren’t abandoning efforts to curb emissions. But they are tiptoeing away from an idea they devised decades ago, doubting it can work on the grand scale now envisioned.

“I’m skeptical that cap-and-trade is the most effective way to go about regulating carbon,” says Mr. Crocker, 73 years old, a retired economist in Centennial, Wyo. He says he prefers an outright tax on emissions because it would be easier to enforce and provide needed flexibility to deal with the problem.

The House has passed cap-and-trade legislation. The Senate could take up a measure in September. But Republicans strongly oppose the idea — arguing that it is a tax that will hurt the economy — and Democrats are struggling to come up with an approach that apportions the inevitable cost of a cap-and-trade system among different interests, from consumers to utilities to coal plants.

Mr. Crocker, who went on to become a professor at the University of Wyoming, is one of two economists who dreamed up cap-and-trade in the 1960s. The other, John Dales, who died in 2007, was also a skeptic of using the idea to tame global warning.

And if Thomas Crocker doesn’t believe cap and trade is a good way to regulate carbon, why in hell does Congress, and the Obama administration, want to take us down that road.

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Jul 18

Republican Mike Castle (who voted for the climate bill) has some angry constituents who are more angry about Castle’s cap and trade vote.

Apparently this town hall meeting was a discussion on Congress’ proposed bill to socialize health care, but, at least from this video, that the crowd mob was more interested in venting about the climate bill, and Castle’s vote for it.

Bonus: Castle gets booed by the crowd when he says he believes in AGW, and he admits his office received more calls against the climate bill than for it.

It’s encouraging to see this level of emotion from the crowd.

Hat tip: Watts Up With That

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Jun 29

From the YouTube notes:

The government is going green with cap and trade legislation! Kinda…

Calculate your Cap and Trade tax burden! Visit the Tax Foundation website:
http://www.taxfoundation.org

LYRICS:

We’re gonna…
Cap and trade
all carbon emissions
gonna cap and trade
that will be our mission

We’re gonna cap and trade
see what I mean
the government is
going green today…
We cap and trade.

See cap and trade
charges folks for releasing carbon
like companies that use
vehicles that park and

utilities and factories
who pass the cost
to people who will pay
for cap and trade

It sounds like cap and trade
is a tax we pay then
No sir, cap and trade
is just a regulation

See tax is when there’s
money spent
this is just a fee to the government
Okay?
It’s cap and trade.

So with cap and trade
won’t things be more expensive?
Well just…everything
but don’t be so apprehensive

Just clothes and food
and heating bills
and anything that needs
to be shipped will
be raised
with cap and trade.

But how is cap and trade
not a tax there, sonny
when we all have to pay
the government our money

You don’t seem to understand my friend
we’re going green, doesn’t that make sense?
they’ll pay
for cap and trade.

Sounds like cap and trade
is some sort of weird humor
because these fees will just be
passed on to the consumer

Yes, but check this chart
you’ll see for sure
the biggest burden will be
on the poor who’ll pay
for cap and trade

See who cares if cost of most goods go higher?
And household income levels all go down?
and if estimated environmental impact is not really calculable,,,

Oh, what a scene, I’m really keen
the government is going green
We’re going green
with cap and trade!

Hat tip: Jonah Goldberg @ The Corner

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Jun 24

The Wall Street Journal editorial board:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has put cap-and-trade legislation on a forced march through the House, and the bill may get a full vote as early as Friday. It looks as if the Democrats will have to destroy the discipline of economics to get it done.

Despite House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman’s many payoffs to Members, rural and Blue Dog Democrats remain wary of voting for a bill that will impose crushing costs on their home-district businesses and consumers. The leadership’s solution to this problem is to simply claim the bill defies the laws of economics.

The hit to GDP is the real threat in this bill. The whole point of cap and trade is to hike the price of electricity and gas so that Americans will use less. 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. Consumers will cut back on spending, which in turn will cut back on production, which results in fewer jobs created or higher unemployment. Some companies will instead move their operations overseas, with the same result.

Even as Democrats have promised that this cap-and-trade legislation won’t pinch wallets, behind the scenes they’ve acknowledged the energy price tsunami that is coming. During the brief few days in which the bill was debated in the House Energy Committee, Republicans offered three amendments: one to suspend the program if gas hit $5 a gallon; one to suspend the program if electricity prices rose 10% over 2009; and one to suspend the program if unemployment rates hit 15%. Democrats defeated all of them.

The reality is that cost estimates for climate legislation are as unreliable as the models predicting climate change. What comes out of the computer is a function of what politicians type in. A better indicator might be what other countries are already experiencing. Britain’s Taxpayer Alliance estimates the average family there is paying nearly $1,300 a year in green taxes for carbon-cutting programs in effect only a few years.

Americans should know that those Members who vote for this climate bill are voting for what is likely to be the biggest tax in American history. Even Democrats can’t repeal that reality.

Read it all at The Wall Street Journal.

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