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MSNBC: Congressman Pushes Cap and Trade, though It Would Cripple Economy

Posted on July 9 2009 4:20 pm
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Appearing yesterday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program, Democrat Rep. Henry Waxman, Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, told Joe Scarborough that his (Waxman’s) proposed cap-and-trade legislation (known officially as the Waxman-Markey “American Clean Energy and Security Act”) is vitally necessary because “we cannot survive with the kind of carbon input that has led to global warming and climate change.”

Cap-and-trade essentially establishes an economy-wide cap on carbon emissions and then permits companies to buy or sell emission credits among themselves. The ultimate result is carbon rationing that will, in the end, impose additional costs ranging from $1,870 to $6,970 per year on every American household.

But Waxman, intent on fighting his ostensibly noble crusade at any cost, is undeterred.

The congressman was asked to address the obvious fact that cap-and-trade cannot possibly work if China and India refuse to subject their own rapidly growing economies to its oppressive mandates, and that both of those nations already have (wisely) indicated that they have no interest in participating in such a worthless scheme. Waxman’s pathetic reply amounted to nothing more than a string of wishful fantasies and empty platitudes:

  • “The United States has to work with the international community because global warming is not a problem that we’re going to solve alone. Were going to need the rest of the world to be with us.”
  • “If we show leadership on this issue,…. other countries are going to recognize that they cant be left behind. They’re going to be with us.”
  • “[India and China] realize that they have to go along [with us]. They want to be part of this effort. They’re using that argument [that they oppose cap-and-trade for economic reasons] rhetorically and we’ve got to challenge it.”
  • “We have to say to [India and China], we’re going to be the leaders. We’re going to work on technology. Work with us.”

In short, Waxman’s approach is a mirror image of President Obama’s approach: Like good community organizers, they look upon those who disagree with them as a pack of benighted imbeciles who can be enlightened only by the intervention of environmentally conscious leftists.

A Heritage Foundation report points out that Waxman-Markey, if pursued unilaterally by the United States, “would moderate temperatures by only hundredths of a degree in 2050 and no more than two-tenths of a degree at the end of the century.” In other words, the bill would suck trillions of dollars out of the U.S. economy in exchange for a benefit so small as to be—even in a best-case scenario—wholly imperceptible.

Says the same report:

“A multilateral approach would not fare much better. In the case of international cooperation, India, China, and the rest of the developing world would have to revert to their 2000 levels of CO2 emissions by 2050. On a per-capita basis, China would backtrack to about one-tenth of what the U.S. emitted in 2000. India and most of the developing world would have to drop to even lower levels. This scenario, in addition to being highly unlikely, would de-develop the developing world.”

Yet none of this matters to those who clamor for cap-and-trade—Democrat luminaries like Henry Waxman, Barack Obama, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  Animated by an insatiable thirst for power, these political zealots cannot wait to foist their scheme upon the American people for one overriding reason: because of the immense revenues it could raise—albeit under the most fraudulent of pretenses—to fund their dream of an ever-more-expansive and omnipotent federal government.

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