NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


April 16, 2009

The carbon cap-and-trade idea is bad enough on its own.  But Congress will make the climate bill even worse if it tacks on language that encourages lawyers to tie up the courts with frivolous suits, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).

The centerpiece of the climate bill that's soon to be moved through the House is a CO2 cap-and-trade scheme:

  • If it becomes law, it will place limits on carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Businesses that discharge the harmless gas will be forced to buy tradable emissions permits from the government.
  • Utilities, energy companies and other large industries that need to release CO2 beyond their allowed limit can buy unused cap space from others.

In addition to requiring electricity providers to use renewable sources and throwing taxpayers' dollars into "investments" in "new clean energy technologies," the bill also allows those who claim to be victims of global warming, as well as those who expect to suffer from it, to sue the federal government and private companies.

Already the country is strewn with frivolous and abusive lawsuits.  Sometimes the plaintiffs in these cases actually end up with generous awards from juries that often have no problem giving away a lot of someone else's money.  Imagine how plaintiffs and their lawyers will use the climate bill to shake down taxpayers and private companies, says IBD.

Source: Editorial, "For Lawyers, 'Green' Means Money," Investor's Business Daily, April 14, 2009.

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