Friday, March 13, 2009

Has Obama Killed Carbon Cap and Trade?

President Obama has driven a stake in the heart of his carbon cap-and-trade program. By transforming it from a relatively cost-effective environmental program into a cash cow to finance his ambitious health and social welfare agenda, he has encumbered it with very expensive baggage. Blue Dog Democrats and conservation-minded Republicans will gag on its cost to an economy now racked by recession. In broadening the goal of cap-and-trade legislation from the paramount goal of reducing Greenhouse Gases (GHGs), primarily carbon, and mitigating climate change, to that of raising, conservatively, well over $600 billion in revenue for his social programs, the President has raised the ante on this ambitious proposal. He has guaranteed a contentious fight in Congress, strong Democratic majorities notwithstanding. A clear sign of what is to come was a February 3rd statement by Senator Bob Corker (R-TN): "I believe there is a growing bipartisan agreement that all of the revenues generated from a cap-and-trade tax should be returned to the American people." Evidently, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, both of which supported the President's stimulus package, are drawing a line in the sand over the proposed cap-and-trade program...American Spectator

The author discusses several options which are available and then closes with the following:

The Obama administration has decided not to pursue this more cost-effective response to carbon reduction. It intends to sell carbon allowances and pocket the proceeds to carry out its ambitious social agenda. It views the proposed carbon cap-and-trade program as a means to generate more federal tax revenues rather than simply an environmental program to be implemented in the most cost-effective manner possible.

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