- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, fired the first salvo in the rush to place limits on emissions of so-called greenhouse gases. I added the phrase so-called because the people that tout the doom of global warming claim that all scientists agree that it is a problem. However, it takes very little effort to find thousands of respected scientists and meteorologists that take issue with those conclusions.
However, the current flock of congressional leaders does have the power and they will fully utilize their current positions to charge after their agendas. Waxman introduced a bill from his committee that will require that heat-trapping gases be reduced by 20 percent by 2020 and by 80 percent by 2050. The proposed bill would additionally require every region in the U.S. to generate 25 percent of their power from renewable sources such as geothermal, solar and wind. Meanwhile, the EPA is continuing to move on its plan to announce new plans to exert its regulatory authority under the Clean Air Act.
The most interesting part of Waxman’s proposal is what is missing. The trade part of the cap and trade system is expected to generate billions of dollars. What will be done with the money? Will Congress add taxes to keep it? Will energy companies be allowed to keep it for investment to defray the additional costs? Will the money be distributed back to the consumer, who will ultimately see their utility bills increase to cover these additional billions of dollars?
Other requirements in this bill are that more electric vehicles must be produced (more expense), the electrical grid should be modernized (more expense), and buildings and appliances must be improved to use less energy (more expense).
Rather than just being a complainer, I have another idea. The purpose of the bill is supposed to reduce emissions of CO2 gas and our dependency on foreign oil. They could just restrict all imports of oil except from Canada and Mexico. The market would then be free to find the most cost effective solution to meet the increasing public demand. Provide tax breaks for adding alternative energy sources to their mix. Provide tax breaks for those companies that lower their CO2 emissions. The more their lower it, the bigger the tax break. That provides them with incentive to develop sequestration technology and keeps the coal-producing states in business. Also, Congress needs to complete its work on developing standards for a new electricity grid infrastructure but keep that as a separate item. We really don’t want to drag our feet until we get hit with another national blackout. Well, maybe just D.C.