Thursday, June 05, 2008

Cap and Trade

Pollution alone is an issue that is difficult to solve, and it's only a subset of the whole Environment issue. As Americans, we don't like to be told how to live, what cars to drive, what temperature to keep our house, etc. However, Congress is trying to tell us anyway...

The Downsizer Dispatch for June 3rd -

Subject: Urgent danger from "cap and trade" bill in the Senate

The U.S. Senate is debating a bill to impose a "cap and trade" system on the U.S. economy. This bill, S. 3036, the "Climate Security Act" would . . .
  • Place a cap on the level of CO2 emissions
  • Sell permits to businesses that would allow them to emit CO2 in amounts equal to the cap
  • Allow businesses to trade and/or sell these permits to each other -- allegedly creating a market to encourage innovations that would reduce CO2 emissions
  • Use the proceeds from the sale of these permits to create a vast new research bureaucracy designed to help corporations cope with the cap
As a practical matter, S. 3036 will . . .
  • Raise your electricity and gasoline bills
  • Provide politicians with new tools to control the economy, hand out favors, and punish enemies
  • Be as ineffective in doing "research" as the Energy Department has been
  • Probably (if the example of Europe is a reliable guide) have little impact on the over-all level of CO2 emissions
Even if you accept that human CO2 emissions are causing problematic global warming, a government run "cap and trade" system is not the way to deal with this problem. There is a better way. Here are some points to consider . . .
  • Fossil fuels create massive amounts of air pollution, quite apart from CO2.
  • This pollution causes massive health problems, none of which are reflected in the price of fossil fuels.
  • Fossil fuels enjoy a "free ride" in terms of pollution costs that make it hard for alternative sources of energy to compete.
  • Air pollution is a form of trespass, and a case can certainly be made that dealing with such trespasses is a legitimate function of government.
The federal government could do this by . . .
  • Taxing fossil fuels
  • Cutting other taxes so that your overall financial burden would remain unchanged
Your energy costs would rise, but your taxes would fall by an equal amount. Doing this would . . .
  • Eliminate the justification for a "cap and trade" boondoggle
  • Make fossil fuels reflect more of their true costs
  • Provide an incentive for everyone to reduce their use of fossil fuels
  • Make other sources of energy cost competitive
  • Limit the financial impact on you and the economy
  • Help reduce air pollution, including CO2 emissions
We know that most Americans are concerned about pollution and the environment, and for those who feel this way, a carbon tax combined with tax cuts in other areas would be a better approach. But THIS CAMPAIGN is about stopping the "cap and trade" boondoggle, because if you really care about the environment, this proposal has only symbolic value.

Please send Congress a message opposing the so-called "Climate Security Act," and all other "cap and trade" schemes.
So I told Roy Blunt, Kit Bond, and Claire McCaskill what I thought about it -

I oppose S. 2191, the "Climate Security Act."

My personal comment to you:

There are far better ways for the Government to encourage reduction in pollution. I don't want the Government to manage pollution.
I do not oppose on grounds that I feel that pollution is good, or that we should go around polluting to our hearts content and everyone else be damned. I oppose the government creating a system by which they can play favorites and entangle us all deeper into the corruption that is rampant in Washington D.C.

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