NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

CAP AND TRADE HURTS THE ECONOMY WITHOUT HELPING THE ENVIRONMENT

August 21, 2009

Despite the best of intentions of Congress and a presidential stamp of approval, the cap-and-trade climate legislation recently passed by the U.S. House has drawn roars of disapproval from people across the political spectrum.  Frankly, it isn't hard to understand why. Congress is trying to ram through legislation that contains something for everyone to dislike, says Kathy Gornik, president of THIEL Loudspeakers in Lexington, Kentucky.

Take businesses, for example, says Gornik; they aren't fans of the legislation at all:

  • A study commissioned by the National Black Chamber of Commerce showed that cap and trade will reduce the national GDP by roughly $350 billion, cut net employment by 2.5 million jobs and cost the average U.S. worker hundreds of dollars in annual earnings over the next 20 years.
  • Cap and trade will result in higher energy costs, reduced salaries and higher prices for goods that are produced in the United States.
  • Political conservatives call the legislation the "mother of all pork bills, and people of all political stripes worry about the complex credit trading system.
  • At a time while the economy is still reeling from the meltdown of the complex, unaccountable and non-transparent derivative trading system, cap and trade would give those same bankers and traders control over carbon credits and influence over energy costs.

Even environmentalists, though pleased that something is being done, are not thrilled by the giveaway of 85 percent of the carbon credits.  The initial plan was to create a system that both limited carbon emissions while raising money for investment in "green" energy.  But green investment has been pushed to the wayside and to those on the left, the environment got the short shrift, says Gornik.

Source: Kathy Gornik, "Cap and trade hurts the economy without helping the environment," Smiley Pete Publishing, August 6, 2009.

 

Browse more articles on Environment Issues