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The Tentacle


September 22, 2009

Beware The Quiet on Carbon Dioxide

Farrell Keough

Might the EPA being covering up information pertaining to Global Warming? How could that possibly be true – this is a cabinet level agency whose sole interest is protecting American citizens by ensuring the environment receives the attention it deserves.

 

It seems a snafu may have occurred while the documentation to push new regulations occurred in June, 2009. One of the lead scientists had serious issues with what the data was showing:

 

"I was told for probably the first time in I don't know how many years exactly what I was to work on," said (Alan) Carlin, a 38-year veteran of the EPA. "And it was not to work on climate change."

 

After reviewing the scientific literature that the EPA is relying on, Carlin said, he concluded that it was at least three years out of date and did not reflect the latest research. "My personal view is that there is not currently any reason to regulate (carbon dioxide)," he said. "There may be in the future. But global temperatures are roughly where they were in the mid-20th century. They're not going up, and if anything they're going down."

 

Since this event, a number of other unfortunate occurrences have transpired which do not help to support this administration’s desire to embrace science and promote new legislation to stem Global Warming – or Global Climate Change in the new vernacular. But more on the specifics in a moment.

 

First, you may be asking yourself why this issue is important – didn’t cap & trade fall by the wayside when the health care bill started to wane? Don’t get pulled into the attempt at a one-issue focus. While the majority party is trying to wade through its options for passing the health care bill, the cap & trade bill has been receiving quiet attention from behind the scenes.

 

Very few media outlets are speaking to this renewed interest in the carbon credit trading scheme and that is unfortunate. While the health care bill has the capability to effect over 17% of our economy, the cap & trade bill not only will affect the entirety of our economy, but has the potential to alter our underlying capitalist system altogether!

 

The Competitive Enterprise Institute recently obtained Treasury Department documentation on the cap & trade scheme via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. A number of interesting aspects to this release exist:

 

A number of items are blackened out which do not meet FOIA Exemption standards, but do protect the administration from potential embarrassment.

 

Back-calculating the information that is available allows the determination that each family household would pay an additional $1,761 a year for this scheme.

 

And finally, this scheme is anything but a free market solution.

 

Couple these aspects with the EPA cover-up of damning information that global warming may either not be occurring or that is it not anthropogenic and we have a bill looking for a problem to promote a solution which can generate a lot of money at the expense of every man, woman, and child in the United States. In short, a scam to bring in more revenue.

 

These documents outline a number of perspectives which clarify how bereft this cap & trade concept is to our capitalist system. Keep in mind two basic concepts:

 

CO2 is created every time something is burned. That is how we produce energy – in our cars, power plants, virtually all sources of power. We have also lowered the emissions of virtually all other greenhouse gasses, but CO2 is the most commonly produced byproduct of burning.

 

There is no global budget for CO2 – we do not know the amounts of natural production as well as the amounts of potential uptake from sources like the oceans. In other words, whatever restrictions are determined, they will be an arbitrary arrangement.

 

Initially, two methods are promoted for the “abatement of greenhouse gas emissions by pricing carbon” – a carbon tax or a cap and trade system. When one recognizes that the guiding principal for achieving lower CO2 emissions is arbitrary, then one quickly realizes this proposal has nothing to do with a “market-based” approach.

 

Another aspect rarely addressed under this scheme is, ‘where does the money go?’ The Treasury Department is looking at multiple disposal methods for the revenues this scheme will generate. “[T]he Global Environmental Facility (the financial mechanism for several multilateral environmental agreements, the multi-billion dollar Climate Investment Funds (CIF) established at the World Bank in July, and the Tropical Forest Conservation Act. It [Treasury] is also analyzing domestic and international policy options under consideration. These include the financial architecture for an international climate policy, market design and regulation for a domestic climate policy, revenue and allocation issues mechanisms to address competitiveness concerns and efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation. Treasury also engages on financing issues regarding international environmental issues, including with regard to a new mercury agreement, international discussions on chemical issues, ( such as SAICAM), and forestry issues, including the issue of Reducing Emissions through Deforestation and Degradation (REDD).”

 

You will note, no mention of domestic use of the funds nor any mechanism to repay the American consumer for the 15% increase in virtually all costs per year.

 

It is recognized that these policies will hamper our domestic industries and potentially send U.S. firms abroad – something renamed as leakage. You will note only a handful of industries are specified, but in truth this will affect our entire nation and economy. A short-list of possible mitigations are outlined.

 

 

In short, a few businesses may receive preferential treatment while the vast majority will face deportation or huge expenses.

 

The final death nail of this proposal is the oversight possibilities. While a significant section of this paragraph is blacked out, the options range from a small oversight committee that would intervene when necessary – somewhat akin to the “God Squad” of government animal protection – to a “Carbon Fed” that would “manage carbon allowances in a manner similar to how the Federal Reserve, (which is a private company) manages the money supply.”

 

This bill is by no stretch of the imagination dead. It may be considered somewhat ill, (similar to a bout with swine flu) but it is still being pressed into a final form in the Senate.

 

Do not become complacent or weary of the slew of bills being forwarded by this administration and Congress. Passage of this cap & trade legislation will damage our economy beyond repair.

 

fkeough@hotmail.com

 



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