Cap and Trade by any other name…

… still stinks.                                      (Hat tip – National Review Online)


Cap and trade is dead.  The legislation to regulate and curb “greenhouse gas” emissions, primarily CO2, has lost its fervor since the science of anthropogenic global warming, the legislation’s foundation, has lost its credibility.  But Sen. Lindsey Graham (r-SC), along with Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Liebermann (I-Conn), have teamed up under the guise of a new appellation, a “green jobs” initiative, to resurrect it.


Graham, Kerry and Liebermann have instituted efforts to create a carbon cartel that applies to utilities and transportation fuels.  This carbon “fee” on transportation fuels, bringing gasoline prices to $7 per gallon, would be paid by the consumer, but “rebated” in the form of funding for highway projects.


Who among you wants to pay seven dollars a gallon for gasoline, and see it returned with highway projects?  Do we really need expanded and improved highway infrastructure if we can’t afford to drive our cars?  Can the many Americans who live in rural areas and who drive long distances to work (if they’re fortunate enough to still have a job) afford to continue those pursuits if fuel prices triple?


The EPA has budgeted a 14% reduction in carbon emissions in the transportation sector in 2010 (this year!).  The only way to achieve this is to make driving less affordable, by taxing conventional transportation fuels on the basis of their carbon emissions.

So what do we get in return for $7 gasoline?  According to Graham, not only can we look forward to better roads and bridges not to drive on, but we get “green jobs” with which to grow the economy.

The Obama administration loves “green jobs.”  It views such jobs as a panacea – growing employment, thus a thriving economy, along with a cleaner environment not cursed with global warming (which it has refused to acknowledge is being profoundly questioned).

Interestingly, there are precedent setting models for such green job initiatives, in Spain and in Germany, and they don’t work.  But that’s okay, because precedent setting models for Obamacare, in Europe, Canada, and Massachusetts, demonstrate that it doesn’t work, either, but the current administration is about to shove that down our throat or up other anatomical orifices.

In the Graham/Kerry/Liebermann scenario, revenues from carbon emission penalties not attributed to transportation fuels will be used to supplement job growth in the renewable energy sectors; primarily wind and solar electrical production.


How’d that work out in Germany?  Not so well.  As National Review Online reports,


A recent report from German think tank Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaft­sfor­schung (RWI) sets out what happened in Germany. Titled “Economic Impacts from the Promotion of Renewable Energies: The German Experience,” it illustrates how the German green-jobs initiative failed to meet any of its objectives. Taking jobs first, the report concluded that although at first glance the green-jobs program had been a great success, producing 278,000 extra jobs by 2009, once one takes into account offsetting factors, such as jobs lost from in­creased energy prices, the net number was negligible or even negative. More­over, the green jobs that do exist appear to depend on a robust export market, but the reality is that other nations have rapidly undercut German green-hardware prices — meaning that much of German green-energy installation simply imports cheaper foreign-produced components. The German subsidy of green energy is therefore actually subsidizing jobs in developing countries such as China. The RWI found that the subsidy per job amounted to $240,000.


And what does the German society receive in exchange for spending a quarter million dollars per green job?  They get one sixth of their electricity from wind, and less than one percent from solar!  Most of their electricity is generated using natural gas that they purchase from Russia, vulnerabilities from which we have examined here before.


Social benefits?  The German middle class has spent over $100billion to supplement wind and solar power generation, and as we noted, they get a bit over one sixth of their electricity from those sources.


Well, surely they have seen environmental benefits? 


The penalty in Europe for emitting a ton of CO2 is $20, but the subsidy to offset that CO2 with wind power is about $80 per ton, and for solar it’s $1050 per ton.  Hardly an economical solution, especially since the threats of carbon emissions is once again highly suspect.


And the story in Spain is similar, as studies by a team at King Juan Carlos University in Madrid showed that the costs of such programs to the public sector were unsustainably high, and actually resulted in the loss of a significant number of jobs.


So, these sound like a perfect model for the United States to follow.  What are Graham, Kerry and Liebermann thinking?


Other than that they are attempting to demonstrate bipartisanship, and believing that the general public is unaware of the failures elsewhere or that carbon emissions are no longer considered to be an irrefutable issue, one can only imagine.  They certainly don’t have the best interests of the nation and its fragile economy at heart.


There are solutions, and there is hope.  Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) has introduced legislation, one example of several that would significantly curb the EPA’s authority to mandate reduced levels of CO2 emissions under the Clean Air Act.  Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), has introduced a resolution calling for the EPA’s findings that greenhouse gas emissions endanger the public’s health and welfare be overturned.  Democratic Senators Schumer, Casey, Sherrod Brown and Tester have demanded that the Obama administration stop spending on renewable energy projects until rules are in place to assure that the bulk of the labor and materials are made in America (no more Chinese windmills purchased with stimulus money).  And most significantly, Louisiana’s Republican Senator David Vitter has introduced legislation that will help assure energy independence while creating an estimated 2million jobs domestically without spending a dime.


We conclude as we have oft concluded before; the sitting administration is ideologically bound by its conviction that it knows better than we what is best for the country and that curbing greenhouse gas emissions is a necessity at any cost, with “green jobs” that are proven to harm the economy being the answer to all our economic woes.  We further conclude that recovering domestic energy resources, be they oil and natural gas in shale formations, on the outer continental shelf, or in ANWR, is the more appropriate solution.


And we finally conclude that Lindsey Graham is an idiot and an embarrassment to the Republican Party who should be retired by his South Carolina constituency.



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