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Claude Cartaginese

Like Taxes? You'll Love Cap and Trade

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Posted on April 17 2009 3:01 am

Environmentalists are now admitting that President Obama’s “cap-and-trade” plan to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions is specifically designed to drive energy prices sky-high. Cap-and-trade aims to impose a tax on industries that release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  Under this scheme, the government will assign each business an allowance dictating how much carbon dioxide it is allowed to emit (the “cap”). If a business exceeds that cap, it must purchase “credits” from companies emitting less carbon dioxide than their caps permit (the “trade”).

According to a consortium of at least a dozen leftwing groups allied under an umbrella coalition known as the Climate Equity Alliance (CEA), cap-and-trade is “supposed to” cause energy (i.e., gas and electricity) prices to rise dramatically. This development, CEA predicts, will in turn drive consumers to alternative forms of energy. According to CEA (whose member groups include Oxfam America, the NAACP, ACORN, and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities), that will be a very good thing from an environmental perspective.

But in truth, such energy-cost increases will act as a regressive tax that will disproportionately hurt the poor.  How much money will this translate into for the average American taxpayer? Robert Greenstein, executive director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, calculates that every 15-percent reduction in emissions would add about $750 to the annual energy costs of a household with income around $15,000.

That is a crippling burden on a populace that is already burdened with too many taxes.

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