Cap and trade passes in the House

myp

Site Founder
Jan 14, 2009
5,841
50
#1
I am really not very happy about this- the cap and trade legislation passed in the House yesterday by a razor thin margin of 219-211. 44 Democrats voted no and only 9 Republicans voted yes. Sadly, if those Republicans voted no, it would've failed. Now, the debate moves to the Senate, where I really hope it gets crushed.

The cap and trade plan is nothing more than a tax, but in ways it could even turn out worse than a tax due to the regulative power the government would have as well as the definite cap set on emissions, which is essentially a definite cap on the economy as well. Atleast with taxes, the companies that really wanted to could keep paying them.
 
Mar 15, 2009
422
3
Florida, USA
#2
Oh, good grief. Heaven forbid the government be able to induce companies to not poison our air. Cap and trade is a moderate approach. Mine would be to set standards and give companies a deadline, and a tight one. There would be real taxes, punitive taxes, if they didn't comply.

I grew up in a steel town, so dirty that my mother used steel wool to scrub windowsills. Some of the first air pollultion regulations required the mills to pur scrubbers in their stacks to remove gross particulate matte. The steel companies fought it in the courts for years, and when they finally lost, wailed that scrubbers would drive them out of business. In less than a year they had figured out how to process and sell the stuff the scrubbers collected.

I have no sympathy for these companies at all. Cap and trade is a gift, something that would let some big polluters spend money and continue to pollute while others cut back. I think they should all cut back.
 

deanhills

Secretary of State
Mar 15, 2009
2,187
2
#3
Oh, good grief. Heaven forbid the government be able to induce companies to not poison our air. Cap and trade is a moderate approach. Mine would be to set standards and give companies a deadline, and a tight one. There would be real taxes, punitive taxes, if they didn't comply.

I grew up in a steel town, so dirty that my mother used steel wool to scrub windowsills. Some of the first air pollultion regulations required the mills to pur scrubbers in their stacks to remove gross particulate matte. The steel companies fought it in the courts for years, and when they finally lost, wailed that scrubbers would drive them out of business. In less than a year they had figured out how to process and sell the stuff the scrubbers collected.

I have no sympathy for these companies at all. Cap and trade is a gift, something that would let some big polluters spend money and continue to pollute while others cut back. I think they should all cut back.
Cap and trade is not near enough and just lip service. And I agree with myp that the bad part is Government interference and regulation, as no doubt there will be pay offs of course, and loops in the regulations. Possibly this is the "cheapest" way the Government could do it, and half-baked. The US needs a much more intense and coherent environmental plan to clean up the United States. This Bill is the equivalent of a band-aid strip on a serious gunshot wound. :(
 

myp

Site Founder
Jan 14, 2009
5,841
50
#4
Oh, good grief. Heaven forbid the government be able to induce companies to not poison our air. Cap and trade is a moderate approach. Mine would be to set standards and give companies a deadline, and a tight one. There would be real taxes, punitive taxes, if they didn't comply.

I grew up in a steel town, so dirty that my mother used steel wool to scrub windowsills. Some of the first air pollultion regulations required the mills to pur scrubbers in their stacks to remove gross particulate matte. The steel companies fought it in the courts for years, and when they finally lost, wailed that scrubbers would drive them out of business. In less than a year they had figured out how to process and sell the stuff the scrubbers collected.

I have no sympathy for these companies at all. Cap and trade is a gift, something that would let some big polluters spend money and continue to pollute while others cut back. I think they should all cut back.
Cap and trade will severely stunt economic growth and it will cause unemployment. Not only that, but it also has the potential to not reduce pollution much at all as the cap limit has to be set by the government and as we know by history, it is very hard to set such limits. If it is set too high, pollution won't even be reduced and we will simply have bureaucracy costs. If it is too low, it could severely hurt the economy and that is horrible in our current state. Not only that, but energy prices will sky rocket and with the current trend that could mean record-high prices for consumers. Would you rather force immediate pollution reduction and at the same time have people not be able to pay their bills and lose their jobs or would you rather wait and gradually reduce pollution without hurting the economy?

The market listens to the wills of the people and with the recent green movement, pollution will naturally go down over time. Heck, factory equipment and cars have already gone drastically down in emissions since they were first created- and that was without government intervention. You just need to give the market time.

Also, what many regulators and taxers need to remember is that regulation such as this has its own Laffer curve. Some firms will leave the market due to this and probably go to places like India and China where there are very little restrictions.

If you want to truely limit pollution it has to be done on an international level, this legislation will only move jobs and production out of the US.
 
Mar 15, 2009
422
3
Florida, USA
#5
Well, if it has to be done on an international level, we should immediately put very high taxes on gasoline just to catch up with the rest of the developed world.

I agree that the cap and trade levels have to be set carefully and gradually lowered. But as I wrote before, my experience is that companies fight these things as a reflex action, even if it will save them money. So I find it hard to believe this will be all that hard on industry. I remember the big hue and cry over catalytic coverters and particulate limits on automobile exhausts. It would kill the car industry and no one would be able to afford cars, we were told. It did hurt the US car industry, largely because while they were paying lobbyists and running campaigns against it, the Japanese were putting money into meeting the standards and making really good cars.

I'm not sure we have time for gradual. All global warming predictions have so far proved to be too conservative. I suspect that the scientists who say that 350 ppm of carbon in the atmosphere is the point at which we begin an irreversible feedback loop are right. There are others that say 400 or 450. I hope that they are right, because we are at 385 now.
 

myp

Site Founder
Jan 14, 2009
5,841
50
#6
Well, if it has to be done on an international level, we should immediately put very high taxes on gasoline just to catch up with the rest of the developed world.
Where have you been the past decade? Gas taxes are already through the rough. What I find even more amusing is that those for the green movement are always calling for higher energy taxes, yet when they have to pay $3 a gallon at the pump, they whine.

I agree that the cap and trade levels have to be set carefully and gradually lowered. But as I wrote before, my experience is that companies fight these things as a reflex action, even if it will save them money. So I find it hard to believe this will be all that hard on industry. I remember the big hue and cry over catalytic coverters and particulate limits on automobile exhausts. It would kill the car industry and no one would be able to afford cars, we were told. It did hurt the US car industry, largely because while they were paying lobbyists and running campaigns against it, the Japanese were putting money into meeting the standards and making really good cars.
Do you seriously think that regulations such as these would help the bottom line of companies? This interference does not help, it makes things worse. Anyway, if there is enough demand for energy-efficient cars, then companies would naturally start making them anyway.

I'm not sure we have time for gradual. All global warming predictions have so far proved to be too conservative. I suspect that the scientists who say that 350 ppm of carbon in the atmosphere is the point at which we begin an irreversible feedback loop are right. There are others that say 400 or 450. I hope that they are right, because we are at 385 now.
None of these predictions have proved to be anything because the direct link between carbon emissions and global warming hasn't even been established yet. Personally, I do believe they do warm the Earth up, but I am not 100% convinced that the total change in temperature is not also driven by natural warming.
 
Mar 15, 2009
422
3
Florida, USA
#7
Where have you been the past decade? Gas taxes are already through the rough. What I find even more amusing is that those for the green movement are always calling for higher energy taxes, yet when they have to pay $3 a gallon at the pump, they whine.

Have you ever been to Europe? We pay absolutely nothing in gas taxes here compared to what they pay. And, surprise, most of the cars driven there are fuel efficient. Hmmmmm?


Do you seriously think that regulations such as these would help the bottom line of companies? This interference does not help, it makes things worse. Anyway, if there is enough demand for energy-efficient cars, then companies would naturally start making them anyway.

Helping the bottom lines of companies is not actually my goal, but yes, my experience is that they resist everything then turn around and profit from them, so when I think something is important and companies start screaming, I don't quite trust them.


None of these predictions have proved to be anything because the direct link between carbon emissions and global warming hasn't even been established yet. Personally, I do believe they do warm the Earth up, but I am not 100% convinced that the total change in temperature is not also driven by natural warming.
Of course it may also driven by natural warming, but we are contributing mightily, and making it much worse than natural warming would allow for. However, I find that a more pessimistic view, since it means there is little we can do to affect it, and we'd better start thinking with a sort of siege mentality right now.

The link between carbon emissions and greenhouse gases is firmly established. There are no reputable scientists who disagree. I know someone who had a briefing by the EPA (under Bush, by people who are supposed to be denying it all) and he left it out-and-out scared.
 

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