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Another look at Carbon Credits and Cap and Trade Costs

May 15, 2008
By Vincent Gioia
Op-Ed on the Global Warming movement and the coming Presidential policies
(Comments are welcome)

All candidates for the presidency this year have many policies in common but the acceptance of and reaction to false claims of man-made global warming carries the most far reaching implication for changing the lifestyle of Americans - for the worse.

The latest sham agreed upon by Clinton, Obama and McCain concerns the use of something called "carbon credits" as a device to "offset" acceptable greenhouse emissions despite their conviction that all such emissions are deadly to the future of planet earth. Purchasing carbon credits is supposed to compensate for the unacceptable emissions of gases like carbon dioxide deemed by self appointed climate experts as the cause of global warming. However, behind the scenes the real purpose is profit; that is profit to the mega businesses that have inordinate influence on governmental policies and legislation.

Carbon credits are the basis for the "cap-and-trade" proposals made by all candidates and therefore will be the policy of the next administration regardless who wins the presidential election.

According to the respected National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA):

"Cap-and-trade proposals advocated by the three candidates and under consideration in Congress would harm the U.S. economy, disproportionately hurt the poor and fail to produce promised environmental benefits. Cap-and-trade policies place a limit, or cap, on greenhouse gas emissions but allow companies and industries that fall below those limits to sell or trade remaining emissions to those that exceed their limits."

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has said": "The potential market value of those emissions could reach $300 billion per year by 2020." Furthermore, the CBO estimates that even if cap-and-trade proposals reduce emissions 15 percent by 2010 (and there are a growing number of scientists who dispute claims that reducing carbon dioxide emissions would have any benefit at all), it would reduce the disposable income of lower-income Americans by 3.3 percent compared to only 1.7 percent for the richest Americans.

NCPA Senior Fellow H. Sterling Burnett, co-author of the NCPA analysis, has predicted "Cap-and-trade bills will substantially raise prices for gasoline and electricity, inflict severe economic losses on the U.S. economy and lower living standards for lower-income Americans."

Analyses by Science Applications International (SAIC) and the EPA also show that the bills would have a severe impact on the country: "The legislation referred to as the 'Lieberman-Warner' bill, proposed by Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and John Warner (R-VA), would increase gasoline prices by 60 to 144 percent and electricity prices by 77 to 129 percent" according to the SAIC. The EPA estimates the bill would "increase gasoline prices by as much as 53 cents per gallon by 2030 and $1.40 by 2050".

The SAIC analysis additionally warns the Lieberman-Warner would reduce gross domestic product (GDP) by as much a 1.1 percent by 2020. The EPA reports that another bill sponsored by Senators Jeff Bingaman (R-NM) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) could cost as much as $1.2 trillion annually and one sponsored by Senators Lieberman and John McCain (R-AZ) could cost as much as $1.3 trillion annually, while Lieberman-Warner could cost nearly $3 trillion annually.

D. Sean Shurtleff, NCPA graduate student fellow and co-author of the analysis has said "Finally, the benefits promised by cap-and-trade schemes-lower global temperatures-are unlikely to materialize since none of these proposals includes developing nations, like China and India. Every economic analysis to date indicates these proposals will harm not only the U.S. economy but also its most economically vulnerable citizens."

The information contained in this article was obtained from The National Center for Policy Analysis' E-Team. It is one of the largest collections of energy and environmental policy experts and scientists who believe in sound science and that economic prosperity and protecting the environment can go hand and hand. The Team seeks to correct misinformation and promote sensible solutions to energy and environment problems; E-Team Website is www.eteam.ncpa.org .
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Vincent Gioia is a retired patent attorney living in Palm Desert, California. His articles may be read at http://www.vincentgioia.com/ and he may be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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