Cap and trade -- pain without gain

The Madison County Record Dec. 6, 2009, 6:44am

To the editor:

With a U.N. Summit scheduled in Copenhagen from Dec. 7-18 to craft an international deal to stop global warming, the Senate recently came up with its own version of the 1,427-page Waxman-Markey climate change House bill passed back in June of this year (H.R. 2434) -- the Boxer-Kerry Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act (S. 1733) --in advance of the summit.

The key provision of both bills is a cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, most notably carbon dioxide, 83 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2050. An analysis of the Waxman-Markey House bill on Aug. 19 by the Heritage Foundation reported how Americans living in Illinois between 2012 and 2035 would see electricity prices increase by $844.43, gasoline prices rise by $1.30 per gallon, with job loses increasing to 114,087 in 2035, resulting in falling household incomes and economic activity.

Why these stark predictions for Illinoisans? Because 85 percent of this nation's energy comes from carbon-emitting fossil fuels (coal and oil), which would amount to a significant tax on energy use. Illinois depends on coal for much of its energy needs.

As there is strong evidence that cap and trade legislation will hurt the U.S. economy and not halt climate change -- Heritage estimates that the House bill would make the U.S. $9.4 trillion poorer by 2035 -- why the push by the Obama administration and Congress?

Global warming mongering has little to do with scientific evidence. Thousands of scientists world-wide have expressed skepticism, but most of this dissent has been silenced by those like Al Gore who say the science is settled. It has all to do with money, careers, prestige and this government's quest for power and control over its citizens.

Nancy J. Thorner
Illinois Policy Institute

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