Climate Bill ‘A Gargantuan Boondoggle’ – ‘Hurricane’ Boxer – ‘Super Bowl for Lobbyists’ – Round Up
June 4, 2008
Posted By Marc Morano – 6:33 PM EST – Marc_Morano@EPW.Senate.Gov
Climate Bill ‘A Gargantuan Boondoggle’ – ‘Hurricane’ Boxer – ‘Super Bowl for Lobbyists’ – Round Up
Excerpt: How does Washington plan to resolve our energy problems and control atmospheric temperatures? Well, how do they fix anything? By proposing a gargantuan boondoggle. A "cap and trade" bill, one that will supposedly cut 66 percent of our emissions by 2050, is being debated in Congress this week. To begin with, proponents of America's Climate Security Act have been misleading the public by claiming that cap and trade is a "market- based" solution. In truth, cap and trade does to the market what "American Idol" does to music. The idea sounds harmless: government caps emissions, and corporations trade the allotted credits among themselves. Some of the credits will be auctioned off by government. The Wall Street Journal estimates these auctions will net $6.7 trillion for government coffers by 2050. And those de facto taxes will not be paid by disreputable energy CEOs and their greasy lobbyist henchmen. They will be paid by you. Environmental special interest groups — willing to do absolutely anything for the environment with your money — will be lining up at the trough to gobble up billions of dollars in pork offered by the Joe Lieberman- and John Warner-sponsored legislation. One bill has around $190 billion allocated to training for "green-collar jobs" to replace those obnoxious people who produce energy you can actually afford. More than $500 billion is earmarked for "wildlife adaptation." Another $342 billion would be spent on international aid — because Lord knows we don't need it here — and billions more for mass transit, nuclear plants, kickbacks to Indian tribes and corporations, assistance to those having trouble paying energy bills (wonder why?) and other knickknacks. OK, so despite the enormous costs, we're positive the cap and trade will work, right? The European Union has a cap and trade scheme in place. It's generally regarded as a complete failure. The price of credits has plummeted, and countries were unsuccessful in meeting the emissions cap set by the Kyoto Protocol. So, naturally, proponents refer to the EU cap and trade scheme as a "test run" or a program only in its delicate "infancy." It just wasn't executed properly. If smarter folks like Warner and Barbara Boxer could get hold of this hyper-complex initiative, boy, we're bound to see results. The Kyoto agreement, incidentally, aspires to slash 175 millions tons of COb by 2012, which, according to professor Roger Pielke of the University of Colorado, would save six and a half days of carbon emission in total. If delaying six days has been so difficult in Europe, what kind of economic toll would a 66 percent cut have on our economy?
Excerpt: Remember the Hillary Clinton health-care plan of 1993? It’s deja-vu time. The media will sell this bill as an important solution that absolutely everyone who considers himself a responsible citizen will support. Virtually absent from the discussion will be the cost, both financial and in the loss of freedom. If either of these prices are covered, they will be vastly underestimated. A Heritage Foundation analysis is sobering. If you think Katrina was an expensive proposition, consider that according to Heritage, the economic damage of the bill would equal the cost of “660 hurricanes – 35 per year – for two decades.” Don’t expect that statement to make it on the evening news. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says Lieberman-Warner would effectively raise taxes on Americans by more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years. That won’t be a headline in USA Today, either. […] Climatologist Patrick Michaels thinks it would have virtually no effect on the climate, an additional 0.013 degrees (Celsius) of “prevented” warming. That’s another little bitty fact that will never see the light of day on most press reports. Instead what we’ll get is the usual hot air, except this time it has the price tag of 660 hurricanes.
Excerpt: The left is getting absolutely destroyed in the debate on the Senate floor over global warming. Roll Call reports that Democratic staffers are complaining that leadership “is walking us off a cliff” on the issue. Far left activists report they are hearing similar things from their allies in Congress. The left is quickly discovering that Americans are not eager to pay higher gas and energy prices in exchange for completely symbolic action on global warming. Conservatives in the House have been paying attention to the debate as well and they want to keep it going.
Excerpt: In their rush to bypass the federal government on climate change, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Quebec Premier Jean Charest appear ready to play Russian roulette with their provinces' economies.
Make no mistake. The Ontario/Quebec "cap and trade" carbon trading system proposed for 2010 by the premiers yesterday is a carbon tax by another name. Through government rationing of the right to emit carbon, affected industries will face new costs they will have to factor into the pricing of their products, making them less competitive. Does McGuinty understand the implications of this for Ontario's already-reeling auto sector?
If Ontario and Quebec act alone, how will they stop the flight of business and capital to jurisdictions that don't have cap and trade systems, such as Alberta or China?
Excerpt: Having learned from the Farm Bill that people will pass anything if you buy enough of them off, Sen. Boxer has proposed a substitute amendment to the Lieberman-Warner global warming bill currently before the Senate, which will redistribute trillions (yes, trillions) of dollars to the environmental-industrial complex. Senator McConnell just objected to the Boxer substitute amendment being taken as read. The Clerk is now reading aloud the 491 page substitute, which was described as making small textual corrections to the 157 page bill.
Excerpt: If Congress holds a pork barbecue, do they need to apply for carbon credits? Politico reports that the Lieberman-Warner bill currently under debate represents the biggest opportunity in recent memory for lobbyists to carve out pork-barrel projects and other set-asides as the government prepares to take over the energy industry. And if this Super Bowl turns out to be a bust, the next one may take place during a presidency that won’t threaten a veto: The climate change legislation being debated now in the Senate is the Super Bowl for lobbyists, roping in everyone from Alaskan Inupiaqs to venture capitalists.“We’re only this far because of the array of citizen groups, business, labor, environmentalists, religious communities, hunters, anglers, you could go on,” Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) told reporters on Capitol Hill. “It’s this mighty force rising out from the American public.” … Depending on how Congress eventually deals with global warming, the outcome will inevitably hurt some companies while creating significant new markets for others.
Excerpt: On behalf of the 362,000 members of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), I urge you to oppose S. 2191, the Lieberman-Warner "Climate Security Act." This bill would impose an annual cap on the emissions of six greenhouse gases, principally carbon dioxide, and would establish a trading system for emissions allowances. This "cap-and-trade" system constitutes a colossal tax hike and should be opposed due to its enormous cost and regulatory implications. First and foremost, this bill amounts to a huge tax hike. Though the mechanism obscures the fact slightly, this bill effectively imposes a substantial carbon tax. Capping emissions and requiring entities to purchase additional allowances from the federal government will lead to an explosion in revenue. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the tax increase adds up to nearly $1.2 trillion over just a seven-year period from enactment in 2012 to 2018. Enacting S. 2191 would also tremendously harm economic growth and job expansion.
Excerpt: The New Jersey Global Warming Act, which became law last year, is the most restrictive and economically harmful such measure in the entire country, said Doherty, who explained why the law is a Kyoto-type policy at the state level. The New Jersey law calls for greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced to where they were in 1990 "no later" than 2020. It further stipulates that emissions not exceed 80 percent of their 2006 levels "no later" than 2050. Under this scenario, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) will be "unleashed" with a "blank check" to audit and harasses businesses into submission, said Doherty. He foresees the implementation of a "huge, new bureaucracy" to manage the new "cap and trade" regime whereby businesses will be compelled to purchase credits when they exceed emissions limits. "This means we can expect more corruption, waste and higher taxes," Doherty said. "Businesses will begin to move into other states where they see greater opportunity and less government intrusion."
Excerpt: A U.S. economist praises Congress for planning to fight global warming, but he says the plan being considered would hasten environmental calamity. Peter Morici, former chief economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission, is concerned about the Warner-Lieberman bill pending in the Senate. It would limit U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2012 to 2005 levels, and reduce those by 70 percent in 2050.
Excerpt: Last Friday, Sen. Dorgan told me that he remembers getting briefed back in 1993 by Clinton healthcare gurus Ira Magaziner and Judy Feder. “I sat and listened to them. Since I couldn’t understand their explanation I figured I could never explain it to someone else,” Dorgan said. “This is, in some ways, more complicated than that.”
Excerpt: Not interested in the global warming bill? Count yourself among a lucky few in Washington. The climate change legislation being debated now in the Senate is the Super Bowl for lobbyists, roping in everyone from Alaskan Inupiaqs to venture capitalists. “We’re only this far because of the array of citizen groups, business, labor, environmentalists, religious communities, hunters, anglers, you could go on,” Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) told reporters on Capitol Hill. “It’s this mighty force rising out from the American public.” Scores of niche organizations such as Amazon Watch, which works to defend indigenous Amazonian people from deforestation, and the Military Advisory Board, consisting of 11 retired admirals and generals concerned about the impact of global warming on national security, are lobbying for the bill. The sweeping legislation would impact nearly every aspect of the complicated energy industry, and its effects would reverberate through a huge swath of the American economy. The first test of the legislation came Monday, when the Senate voted 74-14 to open debate. Few lobbyists expect climate change legislation to pass this year. In its current form, it faces an uphill battle in the Senate, as well as a veto threat from the White House.
Excerpt: The Lieberman-Warner cap-and-trade bill is going nowhere. Even in the unlikely event Congress passes it, President Bush has said he will veto the measure, and there aren't nearly enough votes to override. So the real action commences on Jan. 20, 2009, when a new administration takes over. Barack Obama is on record in favor of cap and trade. And so, significantly, is John McCain. In fact, Sen. McCain has been among the strongest backers of the Lieberman-Warner bill. Last October, he said he was "bitterly disappointed" by U.S. inaction on climate change so far. "The Europeans implemented a cap-and-trade system; they stumbled and had their problems, but it is still the right thing to do," he said.
Excerpt: At the core of Lieberman-Warner’s corruption is the trillions of dollars the federal government would raise by forcing American businesses to buy allowances to emit carbon (Obama’s plan taxes U.S. businesses at rates much higher than Lieberman-Warner). The left is using this huge slush fund to buy off enough special interests to get enough votes to pass carbon capping legislation. The Politico reports that: “The climate change legislation being debated now in the Senate is the Super Bowl for lobbyists.
Excerpt: The direction Congress takes on proposals to cap greenhouse gases could depend on coal-rich states such as West Virginia, which has some of the nation's poorest households, but is rich in both coal and political clout. The second-poorest state in the nation based on household income, West Virginia counts on coal to support its economy. West Virginia coal companies are big suppliers to the coal-fired power plants that provide half of the U.S.'s electricity. But coal demand likely would be reduced if Congress votes to put caps on greenhouse-gas emissions and compel companies to buy permits to burn coal or oil. That is putting pressure on West Virginia's senators, Robert Byrd and Jay Rockefeller, both Democrats. Many Democratic Party leaders are pushing for action on climate change as a moral imperative and arguing it will help U.S. competitiveness as well. But with coal accounting for an estimated 8% of West Virginia's general revenue fund, the risks to the state's economy are big enough that the two Democrats may not be willing to fall in line with their party.
CNSNews.com – Dems' Climate Change Tax Will Hurt Poor, Says GOP – June 04, 2008
Excerpt: The Senate takes up a bill to strangle the economy and mortgage your children's future in the name of saving the planet. Hold on to your wallets and your jobs. It's going to be a bumpy ride. The U.S. needs a Domestic Energy Development Act, but what it might get this week is a Climate Security Act that makes human sacrifices of the American people on the altar of the environmental earth goddess, Gaia. As Ben Lieberman of the Heritage Foundation points out, global warming is a concern, not a crisis. We have recently noted scientists who, on the basis of actual observation and not computer models, have said warming stopped in 1998 and will remain dormant at least for the next decade, even as emissions rise. Global warming has been proved to be a natural, cyclical phenomenon determined by natural forces such as ocean currents and solar activity. This bill even ignores the global part, imposing draconian costs on just the American people and economy for marginal and temporary gains. Lieberman states that the bill sponsored by Sen. John Warner, R-Va., and Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., no relation, would cost the U.S. manufacturing sector alone more than 1 million jobs by 2022 and 2 million by 2027. GDP losses could reach $4.8 trillion by 2030. All this pain, he says, would "reduce the Earth's temperature by one- or two-tenths of a degree Celsius — too small to even verify."
Excerpt: Curbing carbon emissions would be better addressed by developing new energy technologies, not by raising taxes, a leader of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says.
Excerpt: As discussion of the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act begins in the Senate, opponents of the bill continue to make the case for why they believe implementation of the bill will negatively affect the U.S. economy. During today's OnPoint, Charles Drevna, president of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, explains why he believes the price of gas will likely go up if this bill passes. Drevna highlights how the Lieberman-Warner bill will affect the petrochemical and refining industries and points to a measure being discussed in the House as a better option for emissions reduction. He also explains why now, considering the current economic climate, is not the best time for the Senate to be taking up the bill.
Excerpt: Republicans argued Tuesday that the bill is a heavy-handed government answer to climate change. The bill would require industry to pay for the right to emit greenhouse gases, which could yield over $6 trillion through 2050 in revenue the government could distribute. Consumers affected by higher energy prices would receive $800 billion in tax rebates. Farms and forests could qualify for $300 billion in aid for conservation programs. The auto industry would receive $68 billion to produce more efficient cars. States that take early action to cut emissions would get $566 billion. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., complained that this new spending would be the "mother of all earmarks." He suspects the bill's sponsors are seeking to win support by "spreading this money around to various interest groups around the country." But sponsors of the bill say the critics don't understand the approach: By putting a price tag on carbon, it would give major emitters a strong incentive to cut emissions, but the flexibility to choose how best to reduce them. The bill also offers more than $1 trillion to industry to shift to low-carbon technologies and energy efficiency.
Excerpt: A recent study from the Natural Gas Council concluded that legislation to be debated this week in the US Senate is likely to increase natural gas demand without addressing the need for increased supply. American Gas Association Pres. David N. Parker was one of several council members to respond to the study's findings. "We take global climate change seriously and believe that natural gas will be a key part of any effective climate change initiative," he said. "Our analysis suggests that achieving the carbon reductions required under S. 3036 [the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act] requires a mix of technologies and energy sources. Our study also found that demand for natural gas could increase by more than 30% by 2030," Parker said.
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