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Cap-and-Trade Legislation Will Torpedo American Economy July 2, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in Congress, economy, energy, environment, globalism, news, politics, United Nations.

When it comes to a consensus on global climate change, there really isn’t a consensus among scientists, and apparently there isn’t among the Democrat majority in Congress either.

On the evening of June 26th, the Democrat majority in the U.S. House of Representatives passed a massive tax increase (H.R. 2454) commonly known as the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, by the non-consensus vote of 219 – 212.

Also known as a “cap-and-trade” bill, this legislation is truly an unprecedented tax increase in the form of an “energy tax” that will affect everyone, regardless of income level.

Obviously, this will offend some adherents to the climate change religion but a tax is exactly what this is. And everyone will pay it in some form or another – higher utility bills, higher gasoline prices, higher food prices and higher prices for anything which requires energy to manufacture, transport, warehouse or stock.

If this bill becomes law, it will go into effect in 2012 which means we will start paying higher prices almost immediately. According to the Heritage Foundation, the average family of four will see their energy bill increase by $436 the first year; it could reach as much as $1,241 by 2035, or an average of $829 per year over that time period. That’s just the energy cost impact. The cumulative cost of living impact is estimated to average $2,979 per year. The first five years of this bill could cost the average family of four almost $15,000; the first ten years would be almost $30,000.

In addition, the Heritage Foundation projects unemployment will increase by two million the first year of the program. The Heritage Foundation is not alone in this estimate. The Brookings Institute, a liberal think tank, and the National Black Chamber of Commerce both project job losses in the millions and similar economic losses.

The sheer size and scope of this massive energy tax increase should drive Americans to the streets in protest. The bill totaled 1,200 pages prior to the 300-page amendment which was added at 3 a.m. the morning of the vote. Consequently, it is likely that few, if any, of the 219 members of the House who voted for it read the entire bill prior to voting.

Moreover, those who voted for this bill are either unaware of, or chose to ignore, the growing body of scientific research which counters the theory that human activity is causing global warming.

It’s not just Congress who is ignoring the scientific evidence on global climate change. Alan Carlin, a senior research analyst at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), submitted a report based on research he initiated himself that documented scientific findings that human activity has had minimal impact in terms of global warming.

He also cited data that shows we may now be in a period of global cooling. Carlin’s supervisor refused to pass his study on to the department responsible for EPA’s climate change program.

Critics of Carlin, who has worked in the EPA for 35 years, have tried to discredit him by claiming he is an economist, not a scientist. Carlin, in fact, also has a degree in physics.

Carlin is not the only critic of the science behind the push for cap-and-trade legislation. An in-depth report just released by The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) documents in great detail the errors in the United Nations report on climate change. The authors state that the UN’s Fourth Assessment Report “… is marred by errors and misstatements, ignores scientific data that were available but were inconsistent with the authors’ pre-conceived conclusions, and has already been contradicted in important parts by research published since May 2006.” Furthermore, the NIPCC report says the UN report “… violates many of the rules and procedures required for scientific forecasting, making its ‘projections’ of little use to policymakers.”

The report also includes a petition signed by 31,478 American scientists, including 9,029 individuals with PhDs, endorsing the statement that there is no scientific evidence that human-released greenhouse gases are a threat to the Earth’s atmosphere.

The bottom line: the cap-and-trade bill passed by the House is not about saving the planet from catastrophic climate change, it is about catastrophically changing the American economy and society. President Obama and his liberal mates in Congress are going full-speed ahead in their efforts to remake American society and they will torpedo anything that gets in their way, including the American economy.

To see how this bill will effect your personal income and state, see Table 1 to Karen Campbell and David Kruezter’s article “Waxman-Markey Global Warming Bill: Economic Impact by Congressional District


By Gary Palmer, president of the Alabama Policy Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit research and education organization dedicated to the preservation of free markets, limited government and strong families, which are indispensable to a prosperous society.



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