Posts Tagged ‘Cap and Trade’
January 29th, 2016 at 8:34 am
More Executive Overreach: The EPA and “Cap and Trade”
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In an interview with the Center for Individual Freedom, William Yeatman, Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, discusses the EPA’s Clean Power Plan overreach and why the Model FIP is a cap-and-trade policy and thereby raises concerns under the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Listen to the interview here.

March 10th, 2014 at 4:33 pm
California Lawmakers Agree to Raise Gas Prices 40 Cents-Per-Gallon

With California’s tax policy, the only certainty is that consumers will lose money.

The latest example is the growing fight over whether to include fuel distributors in the Golden State’s controversial global warming regulatory scheme. Doing so would subject them to the same cap-and-trade system applied to industrial facilities, and could add between 12 – 40 cents-per-gallon to fuel purchases within the next year. The leading alternative would opt for a flat 15 cent-per-gallon carbon tax, which grows to 40 cents by 2029.

In short, California lawmakers have agreed that gas should cost an additional 40 cents-per-gallon. They’re just torn over how long to wait before imposing it on taxpayers.

This is what passes for deliberation in a state dominated by tax-and-spend liberals.

No wonder the middle class is fleeing in droves.

November 21st, 2013 at 12:01 pm
Google’s Green Hypocrisy Pollutes the Environment, Costs Taxpayers

Google likes to promote itself as a green, environmentally conscious company. After all, the company stays busy lobbying for carbon tax and cap-and-trade schemes, encouraging government to shutter coal plants and building solar farms. In reality, however, as I point out in a piece featured today on The Blaze, Google is far from green.

The company’s executives control a fleet of private jets that they use to gallivant to vacation spots around the globe – burning an average of 100,000 gallons of fuel every month. The supposedly environmentally conscious company’s jets have emitted more than 100 million pounds of carbon dioxide over the last four years alone.

What’s worse is that you are helping to fund Google’s green hypocrisy. Google, thanks in part to its hefty campaign donations and cozy relationships with federal lawmakers and the Obama Administration, gets to park its jets in a taxpayer-funded NASA hangar and purchase its jet fuel at below-market prices from NASA and the Department of Defense. Google officials spent an estimated $29 million on jet fuel at the facility, roughly $10 million less than what they would have paid on the open market.

Read the entire story here.

July 17th, 2012 at 1:22 pm
Conservative Senators Kill Law of the Sea Treaty
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This is a big win for those who don’t want to see the United Nations’ grow in both power and resources. From the Daily Caller:

With 34 Republican senators now opposing a United Nations effort to regulate international waters, the Law of the Sea treaty effectively has no way forward in the U.S. Senate.

Republican Sens. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Rob Portman of Ohio, Mike Johanns of Nebraska and Johnny Isakson of Georgia joined 30 other GOP members in agreeing to vote against the U.N. treaty.

For guidance as to why this was the right decision, one need look no further than an op-ed penned by former Attorney General Edwin Meese earlier this year in the Los Angeles Times:

President Reagan so strongly opposed the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea that he didn’t just not sign the treaty. He very publicly refused to sign it. He also dismissed the State Department staff that helped negotiate it. And in case anyone didn’t get the message, he sent special envoy Donald Rumsfeld on a globe-trotting mission to explain his opposition and urge other nations to follow suit.

In a 1978 radio address titled “Ocean Mining,” he asserted that “no nat[ional] interest of ours could justify handing sovereign control of two-thirds of the Earth’s surface over to the Third World.” He added: “No one has ruled out the idea of a [Law of the Sea] treaty — one which makes sense — but after long years of fruitless negotiating, it became apparent that the underdeveloped nations who now control the General Assembly were looking for a free ride at our expense, again.”

This was exactly what was at stake here. Passage of the Law of the Sea Treaty would have given United Nations bureaucrats a veto over American deep-sea mining efforts, redistributed royalties from American energy development to other nations, and even created the potential for back-door international carbon regulation through the treaty’s requirements for mandatory dispute resolution.

Senate Republicans did the responsible thing — they won one for the Gipper.

April 23rd, 2012 at 3:13 pm
Obama’s Energy Policies, or, How America Can Fail
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Free Market America, a new group operating in partnership with Americans for Limited Government, has a powerful new video out that makes an important point: if one was setting out to intentionally inflict harm on the American economy via energy policy, the resulting strategy would look a lot like what the Obama Administration is proposing.

The point here is not that Obama’s agenda is a covert plot to damage the nation — it’s not — but rather that its effects will be just as calamitous as if it was. Take a look for yourself:



April 1st, 2011 at 9:48 am
Video: The Case for Conservative Optimism
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In this week’s “Freedom Minute,” CFIF’s Renee Giachino makes the case for conservative optimism.  Giachino points to the continued public backlash against ObamaCare, the growing movement against government excess, and widespread opposition to Cap-and-Trade and Net Neutrality, among other big government regulations, as evidence that the nation is committed to restoring to America’s founding limited-government principles.

July 13th, 2010 at 12:09 pm
Obama’s Drilling Moratorium: Sending Jobs to Egypt
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In response to the uncertainty created by the Obama Administration’s foolish drilling moratorium, which has now been overturned by two separate courts, Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. announced that it will shift its Ocean Endeavor operation to Egypt.  As The Wall Street Journal noted, “when it comes to a showdown between jobs and ideology, the Obama Administration never fails to choose the latter.”

The Ocean Endeavor contract was worth $100 million, and its loss will cost “a great deal” of American jobs.  Even Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana found herself forced to break with the Obama Administration, noting that the offshore drilling industry safely operates approximately 42,000 other wells and employs innumerable Gulf citizens both directly and indirectly.  Sadly, Obama once again seems to be stimulating the far-left activist community, but not the American economy or job climate.

July 10th, 2010 at 11:20 pm
Democrats Planning to Cook Country’s Goose During Next Lame Duck Session

After watching and listening to the John Fund segment below, ask yourself when it becomes appropriate for many of the Democrats to be impeached for the way they’re systematically destroying the legislative process.

July 9th, 2010 at 9:51 am
IMF To America: Raise Your Taxes!
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There is a strange element of humor when an international bureaucracy attempts to instruct the most prosperous and powerful nation in human history how to boost its economy.  The United States, after all, reached its status by maximizing economic freedom, not by following dynamism-sapping international norms.

Ignoring this reality, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued a statement yesterday instructing the U.S. to – you guessed it – raise taxes.  The IMF statement rightfully expressed concern over the nation’s debt that Obama is growing like a gigantic Chia Pet.  Unsurprisingly, however, the IMF failed to recognize this as an overspending problem, not an undertaxation problem.  More specifically, the IMF suggested “cuts in deductions, particularly for mortgage interest; higher taxes on energy; a national consumption tax; or a financial activities tax.”

Note how closely the IMF’s growth-killing prescription matches the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda, although at least the IMF didn’t take their “all of the above” position.  Regardless, the IMF (just like liberals in this country) apparently remains oblivious to the fact that incoming federal revenues actually reached their all-time high following the 2003 tax cuts, since lower taxes trigger economic growth, which in turn paradoxically increases revenues.  This is obviously a lesson that the “international community” still needs to learn along with Obama, Reid and Pelosi, but this episode provides yet another illustration why America is better off when it decides to be less like, rather than more like, the rest of the world.

June 19th, 2010 at 3:08 pm
Why Did Fannie Mae Apply for a Cap-and-Trade Patent?

Because the mortgage giant’s former CEO Franklin Raines was trying to make yet another corrupt buck from his government perch.  After concluding his five year run as chief executive, Raines agreed to pay a nearly $25 million fine for Enron-style accounting gimmicks that netted he and other officers millions more in compensation.

Now, World Net Daily is reporting that Raines and others applied twice for the same residential cap-and-trade patent; the first time on behalf of Fannie Mae, the second time for themselves as private “inventors.”  Since the same people applied both times the second application supersedes the first, meaning any profits from the patent go not to Fannie Mae, but Raines & Co.

These distinctions matter because Raines – acting in his capacity as head of Fannie Mae – initially claimed to apply for the patent in order to give the mortgage backer a strong position in encouraging more “green” housing.  That claim proved phony when his second application guaranteed him a windfall if “comprehensive reform” ever came in the form of cap-and-trade legislation.

Sound familiar?  CFIF readers will recall a recent column discussing the same kind of self-enrichment in Obama’s Energy Department, and another analyzing the government’s inability to run any enterprise – and specifically Fannie Mae – like a business.

Who knew we’d get an example that combined them so soon?

June 18th, 2010 at 9:03 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Capping the Economy Instead of the Oil Spill
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

June 16th, 2010 at 4:59 pm
California Gives the Lie to Obama’s Clean Energy Promises
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Why bother editorializing when — as lawyers and Romans would say — Res ipsa loquitur.

From President Obama’s Oval Office address last night:

When I was a candidate for this office, I laid out a set of principles that would move our country towards energy independence. Last year, the House of Representatives acted on these principles by passing a strong and comprehensive energy and climate bill – a bill that finally makes clean energy the profitable kind of energy for America’s businesses

Now, there are costs associated with this transition. And some believe we can’t afford those costs right now. I say we can’t afford not to change how we produce and use energy – because the long-term costs to our economy, our national security, and our environment are far greater.

From an article in today’s Ventura County Star about California’s draconian greenhouse gas regulations:

Californians need to acknowledge the full consequences of the state’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and accept the reality “that the net result of green policies may be negative for the economy,” says a report released today by the California Lutheran University Center for Economic Research and Forecasting…

The report examines economic studies in Europe, where the movement toward green jobs began. It finds the government costs of subsidizing jobs in the renewable energy sector have been excessive.

“In Germany, as in Spain, there is considerable belief that the job creation afforded by investment in renewables has been more than offset by the impact of more expensive energy, which has slowed consumption and investment elsewhere in the economy,” the report says.

In the U.S., it says, “Even as energy prices have increased, the growth of green jobs has been slower than expected. The evidence shows that green jobs and the regulations needed to spur them are expensive and hurt the economy.”

So, Mr. President, how long-term were you thinking exactly?

More on the economic lunacy in my new column reviewing the President’s speech last night.

June 10th, 2010 at 9:46 pm
The Coming Carbon Wars
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Lest Freedom Line readers sink too far into despair over Jeff’s earlier post about the EPA’s transformation into a People’s Commissariat, it turns out there’s good news: it’s all to stave off the coming carbon wars. At least that’s the diagnosis of California’s taxpayer-financed parody of liberalism, Senator Barbara Boxer:

Here’s to hoping that Boxer’s opponent, Carly Fiorina, brings this up the next time she finds herself on an open mic.

June 10th, 2010 at 6:32 pm
Senate Votes to “Turn Out the Lights on America”

The U.S. Senate this afternoon voted 47-53 to reject a resolution (S.J. Res. 26), sponsored by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), to prevent the EPA from unilaterally regulating all greenhouse  gas emissions  in the United States (in other words, regulating pretty much the entire U.S. economy).

Six Democrats joined with all 41 Republicans in voting “Yes.”    They included Senators Evan Bayh (IN), Mary Landrieu (LA), Blanche Lincoln (AR), Ben Nelson (NE), Mark Pryor (AR) and Jay Rockefeller (WV).  

During a floor speech prior to his vote in support of the resolution, Senator Rockefeller said he was voting “Yes” because “I don’t want EPA turning out the lights on America.”  Kudos to him.  Unfortunately, however, 53 of his Senate colleagues decided it best to relinquish Congress’ authority to a merry band of now unchecked, free-wheeling EPA bureaucrats for no other reason than the realization that their beloved Cap-and-Trade “climate change” bill is destined for failure in the normal legislative process.

Those 53 Senators, together with President Obama who lobbied hard to defeat the resolution, now must take full responsibility for the negative economic consequences sure to come.

April 22nd, 2010 at 11:01 am
Pelosi’s Big News: Taxpayers Just Spent $140,000 on New Light Fixtures and Window Shades for the House Cafeteria

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had some big news to announce yesterday.  So in typical Washington fashion, she did what any politician would do.  Pelosi called a press conference.  Her big news?  With the Capitol Hill press corps huddled before her, the Speaker announced that she had spent $140,000 in taxpayer money on new “energy efficient” light fixtures and window shades for the House cafeteria.

But that’s not all.  The fancy new light fixtures and window shades, which automatically raise and lower based on the amount of sunlight that shines through, were a bargain, according to Pelosi and Stephen Ayers, the Architect of the Capitol.  Indeed, Ayers bragged:

I think this fixture was $800 a year ago, and it’s now just over $300, so in one year that’s a pretty significant savings – which allows us to begin using this kind of equipment and technology, because we’re able to get a good return on investment.  At $800 a fixture we can’t get a good return on investment, but when it gets down to $300 – and I’m sure it will go even lower – we’re able to get a good return on investment.”

And just how “good” will that “return on investment” be?  So “good” that Ayers and Pelosi believe that, based on estimates of what will be saved in energy costs, it will only take, well, a mere decade for the light fixtures and window shades to pay for themselves. 

Okay, okay.   What’s $140,000 in the grand scheme of things?  Especially when you consider the federal deficit will exceed $1.5 trillion this year alone.  But that’s not the point.

At a time when millions of Americans are out of work, and millions more are taking to the streets to protest excessive government spending, including the Speaker’s push to cripple the U.S. economy with a “climate change” bill complete with a job-killing Cap-and-Trade scheme, it’s the symbolism of it all.

We’re sure there are many Americans who would love to replace the light fixtures and window treatments in their homes.  But times are tough.  Just as the average American family has been forced to do without new luxuries for their house, with record deficits strangling the federal budget, the time has long passed for Pelosi to do without in hers too!

April 15th, 2010 at 10:19 am
Global Warmists’ “Hockey Stick” Debunked As “Exaggerated”
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In order to substantiate their alarmism and political agenda, global warming activists must explain why current warming or cooling is any different than other warming or cooling periods throughout Earth’s history. The Ice Age, after all, receded long before moms began carting their kids to soccer practice in SUVs.  Similarly, today’s frozen areas were once swampy jungles.  The only constant throughout the world’s climate history has been change, illustrating the absurdity of the very term “climate change.”  After all, that’s what the climate does continually – it changes.

So what do global warming alarmists do?  They exaggerate historical temperature data to suggest that current trends are somehow more pronounced than previous periods of climate change.  Specifically, they concocted the “hockey stick” graph, which graphs climate data to show a sudden temperature jolt in the shape of a hockey stick.  Without it, they cannot distinguish one period of climate change from any other.

Unfortunately for them, Britain’s leading statistician has concluded that the “hockey stick” was “exaggerated” and was compiled using “inappropriate methods.”  Professor David Hand of the Royal Statistical Society issued his conclusion as part of a larger report on the “Climategate” scandal, which stated that, “it is very surprising that research in an area that depends so heavily on statistical methods has not been carried out in close collaboration with professional statisticians.”  Predictably, Professor Hand apologetically attempted to avoid hysterical blowback from the global warming crowd by adding that the data “show a clear warming signal.”  But climate realists don’t deny that the globe doesn’t periodically warm and cool.  Without the debunked “hockey stick,” though, environmental extremists’ claims are no different than their discredited “global cooling” claims of the 1970s.

More “inconvenient truths” for Al Gore and the synthetic global warming industry.

April 1st, 2010 at 3:52 pm
Supreme Court’s Citizens United Decision May Make Business Viable Again

With the ongoing write downs in the wake of Obamacare, and the appointment of two majority making union lawyers to the National Labor Relations Board, many in the private sector could be excused if they pine for the days when business was usual.  Add cap and trade to the mix, and it’s entirely possible that Progressives imagine profit to be just another word for unclaimed tax revenue.

So thank goodness for the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision restoring First Amendment speech rights to groups as well as individuals just in time for the 2010 midterm elections.  Since the Obama Administration is focused on several other toxic experiments in social engineering, any substantive legislative response to Citizens United is unlikely until next year.  Thank goodness.  In the meantime, businesses and the people who give them life have a unique opportunity to use their constitutional right to free speech in support of another pillar of the American Experiment: the free market.

One commercial I’d like to see features several different people providing the kinds of services that Progressives love to claim for government.  If you haven’t before, check out the concepts behind CVS’ MinuteClinic, the KIPP Academy, and Grameen America microfinance bank.  They and many others prove daily that – if given enough space – the free enterprise system is the quickest, best, and most sustainable way to enhance wealth and well being, for everyone.

March 11th, 2010 at 4:26 pm
Indian Minister Nails Global Warming Activists’ Arrogance
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Perhaps the most delicious recent indictment of the arrogance and hypocrisy of “Climate Change Cassandras” comes courtesy of Mary Kissel’s commentary in today’s Wall Street Journal regarding Indian Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh.

What seems to rankle Mr. Ramesh the most about these kinds of demands is the idea that India should sign themselves on to the rich world’s environmental fads at the expense of its own poor people.  Many Indians have long understood that the kind of climate interventions pushed by the likes of Mr. Gore – binding emissions targets, carbon taxes, cap-and-trade schemes and so on – all amount to giving up on cheap energy sources in exchange for sharply higher costs and economically unproven technologies. In India, that means consigning legions of the poor, many of whom don’t even yet have electricity or gas, to perpetual life in the slums.

It’s easy for Al Gore or Leo DiCaprio to feel as though they’re “sacrificing” to save Mother Earth by separating glass from plastic in kitchens larger than most Indians’ entire houses.  It’s also easy for such sanctimonious activists to command others to primitive lifestyles while they hypocritically consume tons of jet fuel gallivanting to the latest film festival.

But if such airheaded celebrities can’t even reduce their carbon footprints to the size of the average American’s, how can they in good conscience expect developing populations to consign themselves to poverty on behalf of “the rich world’s environmental fads?”

February 11th, 2010 at 5:21 pm
Arizona Withdraws from Misguided Carbon Cap-and-Tax Scheme
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Arizona Governor Jan Brewer got herself into hot water with conservatives last year by proposing tax increases to address state budget shortfalls soon after replacing Democrat Janet Napolitano.  Thankfully for Arizona residents hit particularly hard by the real estate downturn, however, Governor Brewer has corrected course by withdrawing from the regional Western Climate Initiative’s (WCI) plan to impose a carbon cap-and-tax scheme in 2012. The WCI’s misguided system would place arbitrary limits on the amount of carbon that businesses could produce in seven western states and four Canadian provinces, and allow sale and purchase of emission credits among businesses.

Former Governor Napolitano agreed to the plan in 2007 before joining the Obama Administration as Secretary of Homeland Security, where she embarrassed herself by claiming that the “system worked” after an al Qaeda terrorist nearly destroyed an airliner in the skies above Detroit.

Noting the economic basket case that next-door California has become by implementing precisely these sorts of regulations, Governor Brewer wisely said, “no, thanks.”  She stated in her executive order that Arizona simply would not participate in a plan that would raise costs for employers and consumers in this period of economic difficulty.  Among other things, the scheme would have increased costs for automobiles and other struggling industries.

The Sierra Club was predictably dismayed, but what’s bad for the environmental activist agenda tends to be good for everyday citizens.

February 5th, 2010 at 4:32 pm
Al Gore Could Make Millions Shoveling Snow in DC
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Is Al Gore in Washington, D.C. this weekend?

That would only be fitting, given Mother Nature’s gesture of laughter toward the global warming hysteria industry in the form of potentially record snowfall for the DC/Baltimore area.  Meteorologists are predicting between 20 and 30 inches of snowfall in Washington, which could surpass the record 28 inches the nation’s capital received in the 1928 “Knickerbocker Storm.”

Notably, this forecast doesn’t come in isolation.  Rather, it follows by approximately one month a similarly paralyzing December snowstorm whose rock-solid remnants hadn’t yet disappeared from DC landscapes.

All of this begs the question:  Where in the world is Al Gore this weekend?

It’s not merely the delicious thought of Gore snowed inside his house, either.  There he’d sit, pathetically gazing out his window at the frigid snowfall, unable to expand his already-gigantic carbon footprint by galavanting in his private jet or SUV convoy to his latest Chicken Little global warming speech.  It goes beyond that wonderful irony.

Believe it or not, this storm actually presents a novel fundraising opportunity for him and his increasingly-discredited movement.

Think about it…  Imagine the enormous number of dollars Gore could collect by agreeing to publicly shovel snow for amused “climate criminals” who dared question his ludicrous warming admonitions or fail to drive automobiles powered by vegetable oil.  Perhaps he could even drive a snowplow, sprinkle some salt on roads and walkways or build snowmen in the yards of climate realists.  All on camera for posterity, of course.

As a charitable gesture, we could even allow him and fellow liberals to claim the thousands of neighborhood kids shoveling snow for $20 per driveway as jobs “saved or created.”

Don’t think of it as a rebuke, Mr. Gore.  Think of it as a fun little opportunity that could erase memories of your “no controlling legal authority” fundraising embarrassment from the 1990s.