Posted by: Bill | April 27, 2009

Cap and Trade shenanigans (part 1 of 4,567)

Shockingly, Henry Waxman (Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee) is having trouble getting the cap and trade (also known as an emission trading scheme) bill out of his committee. It’s still early, but it appears his current solution is to call dissenting members of the committee into his office one at a time and encourage their vote by granting CO2 emitters in their districts allowances so they don’t feel the pain that such a scheme would bring.

Green says Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., who heads the panel, is trying to entice him into voting for the bill by giving some refineries favorable treatment in the administration’s “cap and trade” system, which is expected to generate hundreds of billions of dollars over the coming years. Under the plan, companies would pay for the right to emit carbon dioxide, but Green and other lawmakers are angling to get a free pass for refineries in their districts.

“We’ve been talking,” Green said, referring to a meeting he had with Waxman on Tuesday night. “To put together a bill that passes, they have to get our votes, and I’m not going to vote for a bill without refinery allowances.”

Some day, I promise more detail on this topic, but to summarize: Cap and Trade is just dumb. It will be immensely complicated and create opportunities for companies (and lawmakers) to manipulate the law in their favor. It is naive in that it ignores Europe’s (and other Kyoto adopters) complete failure to make any emissions reduction progress. (The previous link is just one of dozens of articles on this topic. I just chose to link the first one.)

Just carbon tax me. Please. It’s honest and based on consumption. Those who bike to work and leave the AC off in their house will be rewarded.

What? There is a recession you say. Adding taxes might be politically dangerous? Perhaps cap and trade will be easier to sell since we can disguise its costs with talk of generating billions in revenue and lots of jobs to offset the higher energy costs.


  1. Crap and Trade!! So bad. At the end of the day, the costs to the refineries and coal plants will be passed to the consumer. Politicians get to look good and tout the steps they are taking to save the environment, the energy companies change very little and just charge us more for electricity. This has been tried and failed miserably!!!

  2. You will get no argument from me on your opinion. I’m not saying I want to be taxed more, but that is the more honest (and transparent) route.

  3. […] and trade sham of a bill. While the previous sentence obviously reveals my own feelings about it (I prefer a carbon tax, if anything), the wrap-up reveals what many already know:  the bill is a mess, a waste of everyone’s […]

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