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Here’s an interesting tidbit not covered much by the state-controlled media. From the Washington Times, Winners and losers emerge in climate bill
NEW YORK — In addition to raising energy prices, the climate legislation that’s winding through Congress would create a parallel financial system with a carbon-based currency.
…Everyone from small farmers to nuclear energy companies would be forced to re-evaluate their place in the new order. Power plants, factories and refineries would feel the first impact if the federal government moves ahead with plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020 and by about 80 percent near the end of the century.
…How much it will affect other industries is still a matter of intense debate, though the primary winners and losers are already emerging.
Solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable energy companies, including nuclear, are some of the obvious winners in a carbon economy
Anyone who pays an electric bill would likely feel the impact of climate legislation. Utilities will try to raise rates as they invest in cleaner-yet-more-expensive energy sources. Some have already announced plans to do so. Petroleum companies also may try to import more of their refined gas and heating oil from countries with no carbon law, which will raise costs.
Much more at the link.
One aspect of the fallout the country will experience if Waxman-Markey’s cap and tax bill passes that I haven’t seen written about much is the question of enforcement. Here’s the situation in Australia, where their carbon market scam is still in their Senate. Climate laws add to police workload
The Herald Sun can reveal Australian Federal Police agents will have to prosecute a new range of climate offences.
But they are yet to be offered extra resources, stretching the thin blue line to breaking point.
“The Government is effectively saying to us, ‘Ignore other crime types’,” Australian Federal Police Association chief Jim Torr said.
It’s ripe for fraud:
Interpol has warned the carbon market will be irresistible to criminal gangs because of the vast amounts of cash to be made. Possible rorts include under-reporting of carbon emissions by firms and bogus carbon offset schemes.
What does enforcement consist of?
Ms Wong’s office said provisions had been made to ensure compliance. “Inspectors may enter premises and exercise other monitoring powers,” she said. “The inspectors may ask questions and seek the production of documents. There is provision for the issue of monitoring warrants by magistrates…
Mr Torr said breaking carbon trading laws would be like breaking other laws. “These offences will constitute another federal crime type, along with narcotics importing, people smuggling and all the rest of it, that the AFP will be expected to police,” he said. “I can see very complex, covert investigations . . . a lot of scientific expertise required.”
What won’t law enforcement have time for, while they’re fighting carbon cartels?
The AFP’s 2855 sworn agents are involved in law enforcement in Australia and overseas, investigating terrorist threats, drug syndicates, people trafficking, fraud and threats against children.
Strange priorities down under.
You think the Federal government has too much power over states through the strings attached to stimulus and other Federal money now? You ain’t seen nothing yet if cap and tax passes. From the Washington Post, Buried Code
…In fact, the bill also contains regulations on everything from light bulb standards to the specs on hot tubs, and it will reshape America’s economy in dozens of ways that many don’t realize.
Here is just one: The bill would give the federal government power over local building codes. It requires that by 2012 codes must require that new buildings be 30 percent more efficient than they would have been under current regulations. By 2016, that figure rises to 50 percent, with increases scheduled for years after that. With those targets in mind, the bill expects organizations that develop model codes for states and localities to fill in the details, creating a national code. If they don’t, the bill commands the Energy Department to draft a national code itself.
States, meanwhile, would have to adopt the national code or one that achieves the same efficiency targets. Those that refuse will see their codes overwritten automatically, and they will be docked federal funds and carbon “allowances” — valuable securities created elsewhere in the bill that give the holder the right to pollute and can be sold. The Energy Department also could enforce its code itself. Among other things, the policy would demonstrate the new leverage of allocation of allowances as a sort of carbon currency — leverage this bill would be giving to Congress to direct state behavior.
The Federal power grab continues unabated.
H/T Green Hell
Get your lawmaker on the record. Ask your Federal and State legislators to take the No Climate Tax pledge.
In the past I have posted about my view that describing cap and trade and the carbon market in the language of capitalism is a deception intended to make people comfortable with the concept, when it is in fact a government-rigged process designed to favor some constituencies and ultimately extend its power over the economy.
The Foundry takes up this issue in a post that points out how deplorably centralized governments of the past, Russia specifically, have dealt with environmental issues. It goes on from there to the present:
..The left knows this, which is why they have tried so hard to drape their latest big government plans in free market rhetoric.
The problem is there is nothing free market about carbon cap and trading. New Zealand Climate Science Coalition chair Bryan Leyland explains why:
So, to my knowledge, carbon trading is the only commodity trading where it is impossible to establish with reasonable accuracy how much is being bought and sold, where the commodity that is traded is invisible and can perform no useful purpose for the purchaser, and where both parties benefit if the quantities traded have been exaggerated. … It is, therefore, an open invitation to fraud and that is exactly what is happening all over the world.
Carbon is ubiquitous in our lives and in our economy. The only way a cap and trade “market” could work is with round the clock and pervasive big government surveillance and monitoring of everything you do. Does that sound like a “free market” to you?
No, it doesn’t. Nor does government by unelected bureaucrat sound like democracy, but it’s happening all around us, in the form of TARP, the Federal Reserve and the EPA.
“The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.” –Patrick Henry
Not just transactions are being concealed from us, but goals, too. Our liberty’s security is looking pretty shaky right now.
The green energy industry in Europe has been heavily subsidized for many years now. They have a carbon market and carbon emissions trading, which features a product that is just a government artifact. But people are finding that even fake markets have boom and bust cycles. In England, Warning over renewables as economic crisis leaves funding gap
Scant aid, too much hype and unrealistic targets threaten climate-change pledges
Green power companies are heading for “crisis” and Britain should no longer rely on them to meet its energy security and climate change obligations, some industry experts are warning.
The difficulties – triggered by the credit crunch, recession and a collapse in the carbon price – have led to new demands this weekend to ministers from companies warning that their renewables schemes are at risk without more financial aid.
Over the past week alone, the previously fast-growing renewable energy sector has seen Shell decide to stop building wind and solar schemes worldwide, the wave company Pelamis hit by technical and financial troubles, and EDF Energy warn that UK renewables targets would not be realised and should be scaled back to achievable levels.
In addition, a group of more than 40 businesses has taken the unique step of writing collectively to Joan Ruddock, the energy and climate change minister, warning her of the threats to a host of projects unless something is done.
Any guesses what “something” is?
“I think it’s heading towards a crisis,” said Andrew Mill, who sits on the government’s Renewables Advisory Board. “The government has done a lot in terms of policies and targets, but the reality is that it was always going to take a lot of money to make it happen. And that money is not coming through quickly enough.“
Tip of the iceberg?
The situation could be worse because green industry figures often suggest that everything is fine, argues Mill. “A lot of the [renewable companies] can’t afford to talk about it as they need to be seen as a good investment. If they don’t give out a good story then they can’t raise money.”
Coming to your state if the President gets his way.
Thanks to Open Europe
From Green Hell, John Kerry: CO2 regulation won’t work
Senate Foreign Relations committee Chairman Sen. John Kerry — a.k.a Mr. Teresa Heinz — said in a March 5 speech yesterday that, even with “the best” climate regulation proposed so far, including the cap-and-trade scheme outlined in President Obama’s budget proposal, atmospheric CO2 concentrations will nevertheless increase and cause “catastrophic and irreversible climate change,” according to Carbon Control News.
Kerry’s statement is based on a forthcoming analysis from the Heinz Center (Teresa Heinz, vice chair of the board of trustees), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Fidelity Investments.
“If you factor in the best of everything that is currently proposed — the best — and if you can presume that we do what is best,” CO2 emissions will still exceed 500 parts per million (ppm) by 2050,” Kerry said, while noting that 350 ppm was the CO2 concentration that policymakers should aim for.
“All the current plans take you to about 550 [ppm], but science has now said 550, 450 is not enough,” Kerry said. “We have to go back to 350.”
No matter what we do, more will need to be done. It will never be enough.
From a politically-expedient imposition of a cap and trade carbon market system in America. Potential Costs to America From Cap-and-Trade
“If you’re not at the negotiating table, you’re on the menu”
If you think energy is expensive now, just wait until our next president, working with a Democratic-majority Congress, implements cap-and-trade rules tailored for the greatest possible gain for special interests and the highest possible costs to consumers and taxpayers.
The CEO of the Chicago climate exchange gave an interview in which he gave us a glimpse into the cap and trade carbon market in the US, even though it isn’t officially mandated yet. When asked who is participating in carbon trading, he said “17% of the Dow Jones…IBM, Intel, DuPont, United Technologies. In addition to that, 11% of the Fortune top 100…Ford, International Paper, Safeway. 20% of the top power companies…AEP, Detroit Edison, Alliant, Reliant.”
Why are they participating, and trading credits now?
“Some of them have a hidden asset. They’ve already made cuts. They can sell them on our exchange and make a lot of money…. Others are there because they want to gain a competitive lead…. Others want to be there for the political debate. We have an expression at the Chicago Climate Exchange: ‘If you’re not at the negotiating table, you’re on the menu.’”
Europe’s experience with cap and trade:
Dr. Winegarden notes that “Cap-and-trade has been such a dramatic failure in Europe, including forcing even “green” factories to fire workers. When asked whether America could learn enough from Europe’s mistakes that we could implement a cap-and-trade system that made sense; Winegarden’s answer was a resounding “no”. “Cap-and-trade is the politically expedient solution – it has great political merit but no economic merit. We’ll be revisiting this because, like Sarbanes-Oxley, it will create more problems than it will solve”, not least of which will be dramatically increased volatility of energy prices.
Costs to America:
The potential costs to America from cap-and-trade are enormous. The Department of Energy estimates that S. 2191, the Warner-Lieberman cap-and-trade proposal, will increase the cost of coal for power generation by between 161% and 413%. DOE estimates GDP losses (see chart) over the 21-year period they forecast, at between $444 billion and $1.308 trillion, with particular damage to the manufacturing sector. (This gives some hope that organized labor will, in a rare occurrence, oppose Democratic leaders on this issue.) Winegarden estimates that this bill could increase unemployment by 2.7% or about 4 million jobs. In fact, companies are already preparing to avoid increased level and volatility of American energy prices by setting up factories and partnerships in countries which won’t be subject to cap-and-trade restrictions…proving with real-world behavior of producers that no carbon-limiting regulation can succeed if it is not universal.
Lambs to the slaughter:
As Americans are kept in the dark by gullible mainstream media, industry and special interests are ensuing that cap-and-trade, when it arrives, will either be as damaging as possible to consumers, will accomplish none of its stated goals, or, most likely, both. We taxpayers and consumers are “on the menu” indeed.
H/T Gateway Pundit
Australians, realizing that their efforts to go green are a waste of time and effort, are starting to see red: Reducing carbon footprint ‘waste of time’
THE millions of well-intentioned Australians turning off light bulbs, installing insulation in their ceilings and solar panels on their roofs, cycling to work or buying low-emission cars are wasting time and money.
Commentators from both sides of the climate debate have criticised the emissions trading scheme proposed by the federal Government as being ineffectual.
Under the scheme, the more individuals save on their emissions the more corporate polluters such as coal stations and aluminium smelters are allowed to emit.
The left-leaning Australia Institute and pro free-market think tanks the Institute of Public Affairs and the Centre for Independent Studies all condemned the ETS this week.
…”We spent all this money and it reduced Australia’s emissions, but once an ETS comes in, other people like us won’t be able to make a difference as other sectors of the economy would just increase their emissions by the same amount as individuals reduce theirs. It doesn’t make sense,” she said.
But it made you feel like you were doing something. You’ll have that for a lifetime. Just like America, if President Obama gets his way.
Australia’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme here.
The European carbon market hit hard by the law of unintended consequences: A collapsing carbon market makes mega-pollution cheap
Set up to price pollution out of existence, carbon trading is pricing it back in. Europe’s carbon markets are in collapse.
Yet the hiss of escaping gas is almost inaudible. There’s no big news headline, nothing sensational for TV viewers to watch; no queues outside banks or missing Texan showmen. You can’t see or hear a market for a pollutant tumble. But at stake is what was supposed to be a central lever in the world’s effort to turn back climate change. Intended to price fossil fuels out of the market, the system is instead turning them into the rational economic choice.
That there exists something called carbon trading is about all that most people know. A few know, too, that Europe has created carbon exchanges, and traders who buy and sell. Few but the professionals, however, know that this market is now failing in its purpose: to edge up the cost of emitting CO2.
It’s all the market’s fault:
The theory sounded fine in the boom years, back when Nicholas Stern described climate change as “the biggest market failure in history” – a market failure to which carbon trading was meant to be a market solution. Instead, it’s bolstering the business case for fossil fuels.
Understanding why is easy. A year ago European governments allocated a limited number of carbon emission permits to their big polluters. Businesses that reduce pollution are allowed to sell spare permits to ones that need more. As demand outstrips this capped supply, and the price of permits rises, an incentive grows to invest in green energy. Why buy costly permits to keep a coal plant running when you can put the cash into clean power instead?
The carbon bubble burst:
All this only works as the carbon price lifts. As with 1924 Château Lafite or Damian Hirst’s diamond skulls, scarcity and speculation create the value. If permits are cheap, and everyone has lots, the green incentive crashes into reverse. As recession slashes output, companies pile up permits they don’t need and sell them on. The price falls, and anyone who wants to pollute can afford to do so. The result is a system that does nothing at all for climate change but a lot for the bottom lines of mega-polluters such as the steelmaker Corus: industrial assistance in camouflage.
Government failed because it didn’t rig, excuse me, regulate the system enough:
The lesson of the carbon slump, like the credit crunch, is that markets can be a conduit, but not a substitute, for political will. They only work when properly primed and regulated. Europe hoped that the mere creation of a carbon market would drive everyone away from fossil fuels. It forgot that demand had to outstrip supply, and that if growth stops, demand drops too.
…The market must be unashamedly rigged to force supply below demand. The obvious way would be to cut the number of permits in circulation, but in a recession no government will be brave enough to do that. And private initiatives such as Sandbag, which encourages individuals to buy and lock away permits, can exert little pressure on price in a market awash with them.
The state of modern European political and economic thinking: markets are for imposing a government’s will on a populace that won’t voluntarily go along. Markets as a free exchange of products and services between productive people? A silly American capitalist idea whose time, in Europe at least, has gone.
Oh, and President Obama wants to set up this bogus “market” here, too.
From Open Europe