CAP AND TAXWe heard it from his lips during the campaign - utility bills will skyrocket. Voters seems not to have taken that Barach Obama campaign promise seriously. The President and the Obamatrons in the House of Representatives sent that reality into orbit for American consumers Friday when the cap and trade bill was approved, albeit narrowly. If saner, more constituent friendly minds do not prevail in the Senate, we can expect our electric bills to "skyrocket" $3000 annually by the year 2012 by some estimates. The more conservative Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates utility bills will increase 175.00 per person, per household by the next decade if the cap and trade legislation is passed. Either way, its a lot of money out of the already depleted pockets of average Americans.
Worse - no one can assure us how many "green" jobs will come from cap and trade. What does appear certain is this nation will lose another two million-plus jobs, all in the effort to confront a crisis more and more scientists are speaking out to disclaim, including some top scientists at NASA, MIT and other prestigious universities - global warming.
Among the other negative impacts on our pocketbooks from cap and trade: California building standards will be imposed nationwide; before a house can be sold it must undergo an energy audit to meet new government standards (how much will that cost homeowners?); the federal government will dictate to states what to charge for building permits; force local and state building inspectors and property appraisers to undergo expensive retraining; dictate what kind of outlet, and where homeowners can place such outlets, to charge their battery powered automobiles; and my personal favorite - the Secretary of Energy will have the power to prohibit and/or nullify private covenants of homeowner associations across the country.
Think I'm kidding? Read the 300-plus page amendment to the 1100-page cap and trade bill that allows all these raids on your income and privacy.
After all the onerous economic impact of this bill, it will not insure cleaner air. Why? Because coal-burning power plants, many in the Midwest, which do not meet the new energy standards can simply purchase clean energy credits from a company that more than meets federal standards, and has such credits for sale. Who will pay for such a purchase? The non-compliant utility company's customers. That's you and me. We're the ones the government calls suckers, just another word for voters.
How will the energy credits non-compliant power company's purchase be used? Not necessarily to upgrade their plants or build new plants. Oh, no. These credits can be used to plant trees in far off places. The air quality could markedly improve in places like Africa, South American and Indonesia. Are we a good people, or what?
Under the new cap and trade bill a new trading venue for such credits will be established on Wall Street - clean air derivatives. Oh how Al Gore must be celebrating. He had the foresight to establish just such a trading arm. Millions of dollars must be floating around in his global warming-impaired brain. How sweet it is!
Of course, when the former vice-president attempted to come to Capitol Hill last week and publicly speak in support of cap and trade, he was quickly and quietly shuffled away by Nancy Pelosi and other high-ranking house Democrats who found the Nobel Prize winning Gore to be too toxic to speak when the vote was so close.
This bill assaults state's rights, our bank accounts, our privacy and the public good in a way that should be criminalized. At its core it is another tax increase - the biggest we've seen in several generations and one that will close many small businesses and send more of our manufacturing base overseas. China and India have got to be exulting at our stupidity.
Should we move aggressively to protect our environment? Of course. And we can do it without breaking the financial back of utility payers. We can build nuclear plants that don't pollute; increase funding for clean coal initiatives to utilize the 200-plus years of known coal reserves and retain good paying jobs in that industry; upgrade existing power plants with government grants to cap emissions with more efficient electrostatic precipitators; built wind turbines to harness wind power and transmission lines to carry that clean power to consumers; provide direct grants to homeowners to install solar panels to harness the best source of energy we have - the sun; provide new heat pumps/energy efficient furnaces to less affluent homeowners; etc., etc., etc.
And meanwhile drill, drill, drill for oil in American waters and in Alaska to end the importation of oil from the Mideast. The dollar will soar. So will employment. So will our economy.
Where is the leadership. The means to end our dependency on foreign oil is readily available. The means to end our dependency on our lousy elected leadership is the election in 2010.