Environmentalists are now admitting that President Obama’sÂ â€œcap-and-tradeâ€ plan to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions is specifically designed to driveÂ energy prices sky-high. Cap-and-trade aims to impose a tax on industriesÂ that release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.Â Â Under this scheme, the government willÂ assignÂ each businessÂ an allowanceÂ dictating how much carbon dioxideÂ it is allowed toÂ emit (the “cap”). If a business exceeds that cap, itÂ must purchase “credits” from companies emitting less carbon dioxide than their caps permit (the “trade”).
According to a consortium of at least a dozenÂ leftwing groups allied under an umbrella coalition known as theÂ Climate Equity Alliance (CEA),Â cap-and-trade isÂ “supposed to”Â cause energyÂ (i.e., gas and electricity) prices to rise dramatically. This development, CEA predicts,Â will in turn drive consumers to alternative forms of energy. According to CEA (whose member groups include Oxfam America, theÂ NAACP,Â ACORN, and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities),Â that will be aÂ very good thing from an environmental perspective.
But in truth,Â such energy-cost increases willÂ act as a regressive tax that will disproportionately hurtÂ the poor.Â Â How much money will this translate into for the average American taxpayer? Robert Greenstein, executive director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities,Â calculates that everyÂ 15-percent reduction in emissions would add about $750 to theÂ annualÂ energy costsÂ ofÂ a household with income around $15,000.
That is a crippling burden on a populace that is already burdened with too many taxes.