Cap And Trade
Fred Johnson; Columnist
Cap and Trade is supposed to save the earth from global warming by reducing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. The US House, under Nancy Pelosi, recently passed a Cap and Trade bill without reading it (again).
There are so many problems with the bill it is difficult to know where to start. The first problem is that there is no global warming. Our warmest temperatures occurred in the 1930s and temperatures have been dropping for the last nine years. We saw record snowfalls last winter, artic ice expanded and polar bears are thriving.
This summer, we are seeing record low temperatures in the US and across the world. New York City reports the coolest June since 1958.
The second problem is that CO2 has a miniscule effect on the earth’s temperature. One scientist in the Environmental Protection Agency recently had his report squashed when he questioned the science behind global warming. Other scientists report that they cannot duplicate the rising temperatures predicted by the United Nations’ climate computer model unless they deliberately “fudge” the data. But our environmentalists are undaunted by facts and insist that we must make drastic reductions in CO2 emissions. Cap and Trade is the latest attempt by the government to raise taxes.
The way Cap and Trade works goes something like this. You tell coal-fired and natural gas-fired electrical plants that they must cut CO2 production by 20 percent. This works out to around 40 million tons of CO2 that they must eliminate. If they produce more than their cap they must purchase the right to generate CO2 from other companies.
The price of a ton of CO2 goes for around $25 a ton in Europe, so the utilities would have to pay $1 billion a year which would be passed on to their customers (you and me) by raising rates for electricity. Who gets the billion dollars? Some of it will go to companies who use nuclear or hydro-electric power who can sell their CO2 rights.
But Europe has found that Cap and Trade results in much higher utility bills and job losses because companies ship jobs overseas as they become less competitive. So the Cap and Trade bill promises to pay low-income people a monthly dole to help them pay for their utility bills and to pay unemployment benefits for three years to workers who lose their jobs due to Cap & Trade.
Note that CO2 emissions actually increased in Europe under Cap and Trade because the money goes to purchase CO2 exemptions rather than pay for improving the efficiency of power plants.
The bottom line is that Cap and Trade will result in higher utility bills, lost jobs, more government bureaucracy and regulations while achieving no reduction in CO2.
Hopefully, the Senate will actually read the bill and defeat it. You might want to encourage your senator to do so.
Fred Johnson is a member of the Morgan County Republican Party.