Say, How Cool Is Cap And Trade?

by William Teach | March 8, 2009 7:35 pm

A scheme that Bernie Madoff probably approves of

(Wall Street Journal) Jim Rogers is not happy with the Obama administration. Ever since the White House unveiled its costly climate program, the CEO of Duke Energy has been arguing the proposals amount to nothing more than a tax. Indeed.

Mr. Rogers belongs to the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, about 30 companies that decided they were going to dance with the U.S. government to the tune of global warming legislation. The group demanded a “cap-and-trade” system, figuring they’d craft the rules so as to obtain regulatory certainty, with little upfront cost. At the time, Mr. Rogers explained: “If you don’t have a seat at the table, you’ll wind up on the menu.”

Guess who is going to actually wind up on the menu?

Truth is, any cap-and-trade system is a tax, even if Mr. Obama’s plan has only started to force business proponents to admit it. The government sets a cap on how much greenhouse gas can be emitted annually. Companies buy and sell permits that allow them to emit. Customers bear the price of those permits.

Mr. Obama is promising to return auction money to Americans, via a tax cut he proposed on the campaign trail. Mr. Corker calls this a “sleight of hand,” since people were counting on a tax cut in any event. Nobody told them they’d have to fund it with higher energy costs. It’s also a wealth transfer — electricity users in coal-heavy Ohio, for instance, will be funding tax cuts for green Californians. Not that congressional spenders have any intention of using this money for tax cuts in the first place.

And this is why again and again I have argued that the AGW debate is not about science, but about control. We can argue the science of climate till we are blue in the face, but, it all comes down to control of economies and control of people. Cap and trade will do approximately bumpkiss to reduce CO2 output, but, it sure does quite a bit to take control of money and lives, eh?

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