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US House May Pass "Cap & Trade" Bill

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the make-everybody-mad-and-you-must-be-doing-something-right dept.

Power 874

jamie found this roundup on the status of the Waxman-Markey climate change bill, which is about to be voted on by the US House of Representatives. (The article notes that if the majority Democrats can't see the 218 votes needed for passage, they will probably put off the vote.) The AP has put together a FAQ that says, "[The bill, if passed,] fundamentally will change how we use, produce and consume energy, ending the country's love affair with big gas-guzzling cars and its insatiable appetite for cheap electricity. This bill will put smaller, more efficient cars on the road, swap smokestacks for windmills and solar panels, and transform the appliances you can buy for your home." The odds-makers are giving the bill a marginal chance of passing in the House, with tougher going expected in the Senate.

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Cap & Trade = Energy Rationing (5, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481385)

And energy rationing, by this name or any other, spells death for the economy. They might as well call it the "starve and freeze" bill.

Re:Cap & Trade = Energy Rationing (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28481471)

That is why they don't think the bill will pass. There HAS to be a limit to stupidity........oh hell, we ARE going to "starve and freeze".

Re:Cap & Trade = Energy Rationing (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481577)

There HAS to be a limit to stupidity...

      Not according to Einstein.

Re:Cap & Trade = Energy Rationing (5, Informative)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481599)

You're right. This bill should really be called "A Tax Increase For All Americans." The estimated tax revenue the government expects to extract from the population from the passage of this bill is huge.

Re:Cap & Trade = Energy Rationing (4, Informative)

Logical Zebra (1423045) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481779)

You're right. This bill should really be called "A Tax Increase For All Americans." The estimated tax revenue the government expects to extract from the population from the passage of this bill is huge.

The Wall Street Journal [wsj.com] would certainly agree with you.

Britain did something similar, and the average family is paying an extra $1,300 (USD) in taxes per year.

Re:Cap & Trade = Energy Rationing (5, Funny)

goldspider (445116) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481853)

This can't be true. Obama promised that taxes would not go up for 95% of Americans.

Re:Cap & Trade = Energy Rationing (1)

dwiget001 (1073738) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481953)

Yeah, and Obama's team (hockey, basketball or what, no one knows) said that if the most recent stimulus package wasn't passed, unemployment could reach 8 percent.

OOPS!

Re:Cap & Trade = Energy Rationing (4, Funny)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481865)

You're right. This bill should really be called "A Tax Increase For All Americans." The estimated tax revenue the government expects to extract from the population from the passage of this bill is huge.

NO NO NO! We have nothing to worry about!!

"I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes...you will not see any of your taxes increase one single dime."
--Barack Obama
Dover NH, Sept 12, 2008

See, the leader has spoken. There will be no tax increase for those of us making under $250,000/yr

(If I need a sarc tag, you need to go to another site)

Re:Cap & Trade = Energy Rationing (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482041)

And oh joy, two weeks from now, it still won't be enough.

Re:Cap & Trade = Energy Rationing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28481745)

Yeah of course. It is well known that in Western Europe, where pollution per capita is four times less than in the US, the economy is dead and people starve and freeze. Oh by the way, they just use energy way more efficiently than in the US. But i am probably overestimating my fellow Americans who cannot even do what British, French or Germans do routinely.

Re:Cap & Trade = Energy Rationing (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28481845)

But i am probably overestimating my fellow Americans who cannot even do what British, French or Germans do routinely.

Get completely trampled by the fascists and communists? Because if that's what you meant than I totally agree, we cannot do that.

Re:Cap & Trade = Energy Rationing (3, Insightful)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481849)

A much more moderate climate and population centers that were established when eight miles was the distance that could easily be traveled in a day has nothing to do with it at all...

Re:Cap & Trade = Energy Rationing (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28482057)

BS. People do not commute between NY and LA everyday. The commute distance is not greater in the US than it is in Western Europe. Oh and you know, in Spain it is unbearably hot during the summer and in Finland it is unbearably cold during the summer, the US do not have a more extreme climate. There are different climates, just as in Europe.

No, the problem is really that Americans are not able to do what others do routinely. Look at those gas hungry cars when Europeans and Japanese car makers are perfectly able to produce small and efficient cars. Houses are not well isolated at all also. Building are overheated during the winter and overcooled during the summer. And so on, and so on. I have been living in the US for quite some time now and i am still impressed by the amount of waste. Waste that has nothing to do with geography. Waste that could perfectly be easily avoided. I lament about the lack of knowledge of Americans in economics or energetics (and i am even more appalled by the latter as i own a MS in energetics) and this damaging âoeno can doâ attitude. Tell me guys, how will be the economy once the Earth looks like Venus? Greedy, short sighted, intellectually limited people are arrogantly killing the planet.

Re:Cap & Trade = Energy Rationing (2, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482051)

in Western Europe, where pollution per capita is four times less than in the US,

[Citation needed]

While you're at it, do the figures you allude to account for pollution generated outside of Europe in the process of manufacturing imported goods?

-jcr

Re:Cap & Trade = Energy Rationing (1)

RomulusNR (29439) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481785)

So nothing will ever become more efficient or clean than it is now? Your Slashdot cred has been revoked for lack of technological imagination. HTH, HAND.

Re:Cap & Trade = Energy Rationing (1, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481801)

And energy rationing, by this name or any other, spells death for the economy. They might as well call it the "starve and freeze" bill.

Where did you find them explaining that everyone will have to ration energy? What does starving have to do with energy? It's further down the slope of environmental consciousness vs the economy but you are doing no one a service by claiming it is utter self-annihilation when it's not that bad.

From the AP questions:

Q: Other than costs potentially being passed along to consumers, will this affect most Americans' day-to-day lives?

A: It fundamentally will change how we use, produce and consume energy, ending the country's love affair with big gas-guzzling cars and its insatiable appetite for cheap electricity. This bill will put smaller, more efficient cars on the road, swap smokestacks for windmills and solar panels, and transform the appliances you can buy for your home.

You know, I can't buy the old school hydrochlorofluorocarbon [wikipedia.org] to use as a refrigerant in my new car. The new stuff doesn't work as well (it's close) but it's a lot better for the environment. Small things like this can be important to entities like the EPA.

While this new bill is further down the slope of how invasive this is to a consumer's life, I don't think it's quite as far as "energy rationing" or "starve and freeze" like you so quickly claim it to be. Is it going to dampen the economy? Most definitely. I would not pick this time to launch this bill but I feel it is long overdue. Americans should be made more aware of what energy consumption does to the environment but we cannot seem to learn. So the government is deciding to intervene and put restrictions on it. Probably the wrong way to address the problem but there you have it. It will be interesting to see if these energy caps are applied to the huge black suburbans and heavily armored luxury cars the president's entourage drives around in.

Tell me why there aren't nuclear power plants in every township in the United States? That is easy to see, right? People fear for their health and safety. The same could be said to a lesser degree of smokestacks and egregiously energy consuming automobiles. We're starting to affix a price to environmental degradation and the current administration places it much higher than the last. I'm interested in what specific cost this is going to have to the end consumer and am hesitant to automatically reject or praise this bill until that's known.

Re:Cap & Trade = Energy Rationing (5, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481963)

Where did you find them explaining that everyone will have to ration energy? What does starving have to do with energy? It's further down the slope of environmental consciousness vs the economy but you are doing no one a service by claiming it is utter self-annihilation when it's not that bad.

What do you think the "cap" part of "cap and trade" means? Capping CO2 emissions means capping energy use, in the absence of significant carbon-free sources -- and since neither nuclear, solar, nor wind, nor any other carbon-free source is in any position to take up the slack, things look pretty grim. And the caps are designed to be ratcheted DOWN.

As for what starving has to do with energy... uhh, you realize it takes energy to grow and distribute that food, right? And I don't mean just solar.

Re:Cap & Trade = Energy Rationing (0)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482107)

What do you think the "cap" part of "cap and trade" means?

cap [wiktionary.org] :

Verb, "To set an upper limit on something"

ration [wiktionary.org] :

Verb, "To portion out, especially during a shortage of supply."

Saying "any given vehicle must get 10 miles or more to the gallon on EPA tests" is different from saying "you have 5 gallons of gasoline a month to use, use wisely." The AP faq does not use the word "ration" once and I am beginning to believe that you are concerned with spreading fear and misinformation in regards to this bill.

Re:Cap & Trade = Energy Rationing (0, Troll)

dwiget001 (1073738) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482029)

"A: It fundamentally will change how we use, produce and consume energy, ending the country's love affair with big gas-guzzling cars and its insatiable appetite for cheap electricity. This bill will put smaller, more efficient cars on the road, swap smokestacks for windmills and solar panels, and transform the appliances you can buy for your home."

This is the Obama party line, plain and simple.

It has no remote relationship to the truth or reality in the present or future.

In other words, it's a lie.

Re:Cap & Trade = Energy Rationing (1, Interesting)

tonyreadsnews (1134939) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481917)

Why does it have to spell death for the economy?

1. New products will need to be designed that use their energy more efficiently. Which produces jobs.
2. Industries will have to buy new products to increase their efficiency to stay within limits.
3. People who have jobs from 1 will be spending money again.

#2 will likely increase the amount consumers pay for some goods, but as long as more consumers are working, it should work out. The economy is a cycle, and it just matters what that cycle is producing. It works to raise quality of life. This time, though, QOL isn't about products (TVs, Cars, etc) its about our living environment.

Re:Cap & Trade = Energy Rationing (4, Insightful)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482021)

Why does it have to spell death for the economy?

1. New products will need to be designed that use their energy more efficiently. Which produces jobs.
2. Industries will have to buy new products to increase their efficiency to stay within limits.
3. People who have jobs from 1 will be spending money again.

I got an idea. We can come and break every window in your house. Better yet, we'll break every window in every house on your block. Think of the jobs created when those windows have to get fixed!

Re:Cap & Trade = Energy Rationing (4, Insightful)

corbettw (214229) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482039)

Ah yes, the Broken Window fallacy. Here's a hint why this is bad: you're forcing people to spend money to, in effect, tread water, instead of letting them invest in something that will expand their business.

Here's an example: a baker finds his business doing well, with people lining up around the block to buy his signature muffins. So he wants to buy another oven to produce more muffins, and hire two more counter staff to handle the customers. Then cap and trade gets passed, forcing him instead to buy a replacement oven for the one he already has, plus get new windows and air conditioning, not to mention all the similar upgrades in his own home. This consumes the money he would've spend on that new oven and new employees, leaving him in the same position as before. So how exactly has this helped him or the economy?

Re:Cap & Trade = Energy Rationing (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481983)

They might as well call it the "starve and freeze" bill.

Depending on how quickly its effects show up, it could also be called "the democrats piss away their majority in both houses of congress in a single election cycle" bill.

-jcr

Re:Cap & Trade = Energy Rationing (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482009)

The cap is on emissions, not energy production. Feel free to go hog wild on fission, wind, wave, solar, geothermal, or stupidity.

Re:Cap & Trade = Energy Rationing (1)

syphax (189065) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482023)

Cap & Trade = End to profligate waste.

The US economy generates less than $2000 per metric ton of CO2 emissions [wikipedia.org]

Germany is at $3400. Denmark is at $4500.

There are plenty of yeah-buts about these numbers, but you can't yeah-but a 70% performance gap. And I've got (proprietary) data that documents just how inefficient our buildings are compared to e.g. Germany. The gaps are insane, and are a textbook case of market failure (information gaps between developers, owners and tenants, etc.)

There's a lot in ACES aside from the swiss cheese cap & trade that will help. A lot.

No real impact (3, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481399)

People will still drive SUVs, they will just complain about the price. People will still have widescreen TVs, they will just complain about the cost of electricity. What Washington constantly fails to realize is that you can't legislate tastes, attitudes, and morality. If people want to consume energy, they will. You need a cultural shift, where people no longer feel the need to have huge cars, new TVs, etc etc and THEN you'll see energy usage go down.

Re:No real impact (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28481445)

Cultural shift in the people or in the government? [metagovernment.org]

Probably both.

Re:No real impact (1)

lawnboy5-O (772026) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481475)

How about just blowing out big oil - there's your cultural shift right there. If we were using renewable sources - as even henry ford even wanted to - this conversation does not happen today. Oh, and the economy would be greased for serious evolution. yes yes yes we will always needs oils for so many things... its no excuse anymore. its time.

Re:No real impact (1)

rhsanborn (773855) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481501)

People are definitely affected by the price, it will just depend 1) on how much money people have, and 2) on how much of this surcharge the consumer sees. When gas climbed to 2-2.50 the consumer generally didn't change habits, such as driving those big SUVs. But when gas hit 4.00 last year, they definitely started to change tastes and habits. Surcharges do work, it just depends on how high of a surcharge, and whether the legislators want to try and use taxes to legislate morality. I think if they see the backlash from it, they'll strongly reconsider. The country has had a dramatic shift and isn't nearly so interested in the climate right now. They are very concerned about the economy and just need a couple lobby groups to start saying how this bill will slow economic recovery to start making congressmen really nervous about adding their vote.

Legislate Morality? (1)

gbutler69 (910166) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481979)

WTF?!? That's exactly what almost ALL laws do. I'm so sick of hearing, "We can't Legislate Morality." That's bull-shit. We do it all the fucking time.

Re:Legislate Morality? (1)

rhsanborn (773855) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482071)

Note my qualifier about using taxes to do it. Something they currently do with cigarettes. The question will be how big of a ripple it will cause when everyone gets hit with this on something as important as transportation.

Re:No real impact (5, Insightful)

Shanrak (1037504) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481517)

Well that right there is where the problem inherently lies. This is just a plain old tax, but instead of seemingly coming from the government, most people gets the impression that it is from the 'evil' corporations. Damn those car makers and electric companies raising the costs! If the government wants to generate revenue, RAISE THE TAXES and suffer the consequences, don't try to shift blame to corporations.

Re:No real impact (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481747)

There are plenty of people who are scraping by who will be forced to reduce their consumption in order to keep on scraping by.

It is entertaining the cultural mores you choose to highlight; a soccer mom driving an up-armored minivan 15,000 miles a year is consuming much less energy than a jet setting business traveler, and televisions use multiples of 10 less energy than home heating and cooling.

Re:No real impact (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28482035)

No real impact

I think you couldn't be more wrong.

We've already seen with $4 / gallon gas prices, people will dramatically shift the types of cars they drive. Cap and Trade could raise the cost of gas well above this. Only the uber rich will be driving SUV's.

Raising the cost of electricity is inflationary in nature and will raise the cost of everything. We saw this already when oil and natural gas skyrocketed to unseen levels only a year or so ago. Given this fact, the hardest hit will be on the poorer side of the scale as even the smallest increases in costs take a much larger percentage of income. There will be a lot less wide-screen TV's being purchased, and most of them being in the homes of high-middle income earners.

What citizens haven't learned is that Washington politics are beholden to their lobbies (both sides of the isle) and this idea of cap and trade is scandalous right to the core. What good is cap and trade on global warming when all you do is tax manufacturing and jobs out of the US (which has some emissions controls) to other other countries (that have little to none)? You won't be doing the world any favors by pushing factories to another part of the world. You'll just be hurting your own country by destroying it's economy and probably destroying the world faster since those other countries allow you to pollute more as well as all goods will now have to be all shipped back to the places they use to be manufactured.

This has laws of unintended consequences all over this and your ignorant idea that "this will change nothing" couldn't be farther from the truth.

This will be the longest 4 years in America's history.

Re:No real impact (1)

tonyreadsnews (1134939) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482091)

Yes, but they may buy the SUV with better gas mileage, therefore motivating SUV makers to innovate new ways to be more efficient to be better then the competition.

And, people may buy the TV that is more efficient (or a slightly smaller one), again motivating and rewarding the efficient producers.

Still more, people may start looking more at renewable energy sources (Solar, wind, etc) to supplement the non-renewable ones.

Good intentions (3, Insightful)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481409)

Now, if only good intentions could justify the violation of individual rights, then they would have an argument.

Re:Good intentions (4, Insightful)

copponex (13876) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481607)

Since when is access to cheap and dirty energy a right? We share the same planet. My grandkids have the right to enjoy clean air, water, and a healthy environment that far outweighs your right to pollute it.

This is one of those holes in free market theory that we have to plug. The value of having a biosphere that supports human life is not zero.

Re:Good intentions (2, Insightful)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481695)

I think Stalin used quite similar reasoning for the forced starvation programs: the greater good, to bring Russia as a whole into the modern era.

Seriously, you thinking you have an answer to a problem -- that scares the hell out of me.

Re:Good intentions (-1, Troll)

Freetardo Jones (1574733) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481861)

Ah yes, wanting their to be clean air and water for people to live in a generation from now is clearly the same as wanting to commit genocide. Could your right-wing loonies be anymore retarded?

Re:Good intentions (1)

Freetardo Jones (1574733) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482121)

Wow I love how the obviously flamebait above me, anyone who wants clean air and water must clearly be a genocidal communist like Stalin, gets modded insightful but I get modded troll. Gotta love that.

Re:Good intentions (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481847)

The value of having a biosphere that supports human life, AFTER I AM DEAD, is zero.

Re:Good intentions (1, Insightful)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481871)

Since when is access to cheap and dirty energy a right?

I have the right to use my property as I see fit, so long as I don't violate the rights of others. That includes trading it with others.

We share the same planet.

We live on the same planet. But my property is not yours, and vice versa.

My grandkids have the right to enjoy clean air, water, and a healthy environment that far outweighs your right to pollute it.

If I pollute their water, they/you can sue me. What was your point?

Re:Good intentions (2, Insightful)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481933)

Since when did anyone in the past care enough about these issues to the point of, you know, doing something to prevent them? We are inherit the aftermath of the previous generation's actions. As such, I certainly do not give two shits about the air, the ocean, the ozone layer, the ice caps, etc, etc, etc, simply because no one before me cared.

Maybe one day when I: a) can't breath, b) can't grow/hunt food, c) get sun burned at night; I might care. Somehow, with the assholes that run my government, and the governments abroad; I highly doubt that I will live to see that "maybe."

Dirty energy a right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28482001)

I see no clear evidence that a forced move to ethanol, windmills, solar or whatever will be cleaner or even more carbon neutral than the hydros we have now by the time they scale them up from the joke stage they are now. And papal dispensations to polluters from scumbag congressmen don't sound like a formula for success in any endeavor. I think Washington is near perfect at turning progressive good will into shit.

Re:Good intentions (1)

RegularFry (137639) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481615)

If individual rights were fairly balanced with responsibility, then you would.

Re:Good intentions (1)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481905)

If individual rights were fairly balanced with responsibility

By "balanced", you mean compromised, ie violated. Compromise, bipartisanship, "common ground" - these are not good things if they require the rejection of principles. Would you compromise with someone if you knew their arguments and rationale to be totally wrong and ill-founded?

Re:Good intentions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28481685)

There's an individual right to pollute now?

Re:Good intentions (1)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481939)

There's an individual right to pollute now?

Nope. At least not other people's property. Where did you get such a notion?

Re:Good intentions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28481843)

Your right to low cost energy does not encompass polluting our shared air. Fuck off.

Re:Good intentions (1)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481987)

Your right to low cost energy does not encompass polluting our shared air.

If you can show measurable damage to your health, feel free to sue me and anyone else polluting your air. Until then, we all share this planet and should share in the prosperity of technological innovation.

Has the Associated Press sunk so low? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28481439)

swap smokestacks for windmills and solar panels

What kind of poetic nonfactual drivel is this? Is the Associated Press a news organisation for reporters, or a bunch of people describing their hopes and dreams?

The bill will NOT "swap smokestacks for windmills and solar panels". It is nonfactual.

"insatiable appetite for cheap electricity." (5, Funny)

bugeaterr (836984) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481451)

The problem of too much cheap electricity is about to be solved.

Re:"insatiable appetite for cheap electricity." (5, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481735)

And nothing beats a recession quite like artificially jacking up the cost of energy for everybody.

Re:"insatiable appetite for cheap electricity." (1)

enrevanche (953125) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482011)

Energy is so "cheap" because they suppliers and users of the energy do not have to pay for its entire cost including,

  • destruction of environment during extraction, including large areas of land destroyed or damaged due to spillage and strip mining
  • destruction of environment after usage including smog and greenhouse gases
  • massive military and human costs required in wars and other "police actions" necessary to provide consistent access to "cheap" energy

Concerning most electrical production in the US, we do not pay for recovery of land strip mined for the coal we use for most electrical production. We do not consider the health effects of millions of tons of particulate matter dumped into the atmosphere. We do not consider the long term costs of global climate change in the US or worldwide.

Current "cheap" energy is unsustainable and is actually expensive. The costs are just not paid by the immediate user.

Tax & Tax (1, Insightful)

georgenh16 (1531259) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481461)

Recession... great time for new taxes.
  • Is global warming actually happening?
  • Is it a disaster of epic proportions?
  • Is it man-made?
  • Can we stop it?
  • Is this the right way to stop it?

Only if "Yes" answers all of those should we be doing this, especially now.

Re:Tax & Tax (0)

Zantac69 (1331461) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481561)

Maybe No No No No For Congress, that equals "Yes"

Re:Tax & Tax (2, Funny)

bugeaterr (836984) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481661)

In 2008 Americans voted "Yes (we can!)" to all of the above.

Re:Tax & Tax (1)

Ferretman (224859) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481975)

No, they didn't.

Obama got 52% of the vote. Palin/McCain got 48%.

"Americans" as a group did NOT vote for Obama, nor did they endorse either his policies or his plans.

His supporters know how thin his margin of support is; they must be desperate to exaggerate it.


Ferretman

Another bad move (2, Insightful)

xednieht (1117791) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481495)

On the market side of things, it creates a market and industry based on pollution - carbon as a profit center is a bad, bad, idea. What business person wants lower profit, and by extension, lower carbon emissions? Under what extraordinary circumstances do you foresee greed taking a second seat to reason and logic?

Re:Another bad move (3, Insightful)

ratnerstar (609443) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482045)

Huh? Carbon isn't a profit center, it's a cost center: you pay for it. When you reduce the amount you emit, you make money. I've seen some pretty crazy arguments against this bill, but you're the first person to fundamentally misunderstand it. Congratulations.

Re:Another bad move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28482119)

this is funny, how can the moron that thinks this bill mean more carbon emissions = more profit get modded insightful, while the correction only gets a score of 2...

Re:Another bad move (1)

Delwin (599872) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482073)

You have this half right. It creates a profit center around lack of carbon. So the less carbon you put put compared to the amount of carbon you could be putting out the more profit (since you sell your extra carbon allowances).

The theory is that the amount you spend to reduce carbon emissions is now offset (and you will even make a profit from it) through the carbon markets.

Huzzah for my no emissions power plant! (2, Funny)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481509)

Sure it doesn't actually produce any energy, but it doesn't produce any CO2 either!

Now to sit back, get my pollution permits, resell them and profit!

Re:Huzzah for my no emissions power plant! (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481751)

How about you save even more pollution by not building it at all, and then on the land that you you're not using, I can not grow alfalfa [coraider.com] ?

So they want me to drive a hybrid. (2, Interesting)

yourassOA (1546173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481535)

So Al Gore can fly a jet. This isn't about polluting less it's about YOU polluting less so some rich asshole can pollute more.

Re:So they want me to drive a hybrid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28481727)

The poor have always paid for the rich why should it be any different now. The rich deserve everything for free. If they had to pay for everything they wouldn't be rich.

Re:So they want me to drive a hybrid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28481757)

Actually, Al Gore could profit a ton from this because he has interest in a company that buys and sells these so-called carbon credits. How convenient...

Re:So they want me to drive a hybrid. (1)

yourassOA (1546173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481759)

Someone loves Al Gore. So why doesn't Al Gore drive a hybrid?

Cap and Tax - we are so screwed. (4, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481545)

Lets see, to get votes from Democrats in heavily affected states Pelosi will force upon us even more years and billions towards Ethanol. It is a 1200 page bill I doubt you will find if a small minority has read it all, let alone understands it. It will embed taxes while vilifying energy producers - the common theme of Washington - raising the cost of EVERYTHING.

The CBO report was hacked to make it look acceptable, real numbers by other groups put the cost from 1800 to 3000 per family.

I guess they have to rush to get their damage done in the two years they will have complete control. Honestly, once these timebombs start going off its going to flip the house and senate back. Maybe then we can have a real President and real Congress - ones so busy fighting each other that we get some protection from both.

As in, bring back a Republican majority in Congress and Democrat President who will fight them. Not this shit we have now where the President lets Congress run the ball and then claims credit for the touch down with the press dutifully cheering on the side lines with their pom poms.

Tax reform will never happen while government lives up the hidden power of embedded taxes.

Re:Cap and Tax - we are so screwed. (1)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482123)

I honestly don't want either party in power in either place. It's become so blatantly obvious in the past few years that neither party has the interests of Americans in mind, only the interests of lobbyists and gaining power for themselves. Although, I have to admit having differing parties in each location would slow down the screwing our grandchildren are getting. Though with two different parties, nothing would get done to fix the problem because they'd be too busy fighting the whole time. We might as well just keep a single party in power so we can get the screwing out of the way now and move on to a new form of government when this one collapses.

It's a no-win situation for the American people.

National Energy Tax (5, Insightful)

Jebinator (1360963) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481555)

Why not call it what it is? A tax increase for the entire nation based on how much energy you use. The EPA finally released a censored study last night that pointed out how much the EPA has been ignoring the real science of the matter. The EPA's 'endangerment' study was completely politicized. One of the e-mails from a superior to the employee who had worked at the EPA for 35 years and wanted the study released: "The time for such discussion of fundamental issues has passed for this round. The administrator and the administration has decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision... I can only see one impact of your comments given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office." Look it up, you'll be disgusted as I am after hearing how many times people have said "The science is settled" to try and pass this extra tax.

What a Great Plan (1)

Clipless (1432977) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481557)

For instance, it will be very tough for coal plants to reduce emissions at the outset of the program because the technology to capture and store carbon dioxide is not yet commercially available. It probably is 10 to 20 years away. So they will be buying offsets and buying allowances from other entities that will have an easier time

Lets write laws now because the technology might be there in the future!
This is brilliant, I can't find any flaws in this logic at all!

Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28481641)

"ending the country's love affair with big gas-guzzling cars and its insatiable appetite for cheap electricity"

This won't happen.

What will happen is special interests will line their pockets with misappropriated (stolen) money while you lose some of your freedom of choice.

The world will not be cleaner, nor a better place. People will be poorer. Those who currently totter on the poverty line will fall well beneath it. A poor people are a dirty people.

SCAM (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28481671)

Human Induced Global Warming is a scam, this legislation is simply a "Tax and Raid" scheme to create an automatic transfer of american prosperity into a black hole of benefactors and will ensure the continued decline of the US economy, its simple mathematics.

There is more evidence for God than for human induced Global Warming given evidence to the contrary recorded in earths geologic historical record. If you as a scientist, engineer or simply a rational individual who uses reason, logic and empirical evidence as your benchmark of truth ignore this reasoning, you are a fucking tool.

 

So long they hired a speed reader (3, Insightful)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481679)

This bill is so huge, Congress jokingly hired a speed reader to read through the bill after Republicans asked for it to be read aloud (giant waste of time to do in session). But honestly, if our Congressmen and women won't even read the bills they pass why the hell are they signing their names on them in the first place? There's undoubtedly so much pork in this bill it will cause problems above and beyond the things its addressing in the first place.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitol-briefing/2009/05/speed_reader_brings_levity_to.html [washingtonpost.com]

Re:So long they hired a speed reader (1)

mi (197448) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481809)

But honestly, if our Congressmen and women won't even read the bills they pass why the hell are they signing their names on them in the first place?

Did not stop them from signing the "Stimulus" bill (the one they promised to post to the Internet for 3 days before voting — and lied) earlier this year [cnsnews.com] ...

Re:So long they hired a speed reader (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481901)

Exactly! This kind of crap has been going on forever and then Obama makes some promises on more transparency and then breaks it almost immediately. Washington sure got to him fast.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Read_the_Bills_Act [wikipedia.org]

That thing is a really good idea.

The good part (2, Interesting)

Bearded Frog (1562519) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481697)

The only good that could come from this bill is a national revolution. Hopefully that becomes the case if it passes. Hopefully it just doesn't.

The biggest tax in US history (0, Troll)

mi (197448) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481699)

According to Wall Street Journal [wsj.com] , at least, the "Cap & Trade" law will constitute the biggest tax in US history...

The sad part is, even after the human-caused "global warming" proves to be either grossly overstated or completely bogus, the tax will stay on for decades — just like all other taxes have...

Global warming advocates don't bother with proofs, burdening the skeptics (branded "deniers") with that instead. They only adjust their PR-campaigning, such as switching to the term "climate change", when the actual weather changes from hotter to colder such as over the past two years. Indeed, as Che Guevarra repeats from millions of their T-shirts:

To send men to the firing squad, judicial proof is unnecessary. These procedures are an archaic bourgeois detail.

("Flamebait" my capitalist behind.)

But, hey, if the true goal is destruction of Capitalism, one should not bother with too much honesty — it only slows down the fall of the hated civilization.

Re: Sig (3, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481891)

Insinuating Obama is more responsible than Bush for the state of today's economy is a particularly impressive piece of mental Judo.

Of course, we can't leave out all the folks who made impressive regulatory errors over the last 10 years, and all the businesses who operated dishonestly, folks from every nook and cranny of American politics.

Re: Sig (1)

mi (197448) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482125)

Insinuating Obama is more responsible than Bush for the state of today's economy is a particularly impressive piece of mental Judo.

My current sig is a play on somebody else's from about 8 years ago, when Bush was dealing with Clinton-era recession (NASDAQ did halve in 2000, remember?) A very prolific poster claimed to know about Bush only that he had a job, when Clinton was president...

... folks from every nook and cranny of American politics.

Oh, no, not from "every nook and cranny" — the Democratic nooks and crannies are the primary culprits, forcing the government (Fannie and Freddie) to extend credit to people, who should not be buying real estate at all, and thus creating a bubble for the rest of us. And they are at it again [reuters.com] ...

I'm sorry - troll alert (-1, Troll)

m0s3m8n (1335861) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481713)

I apologize right now for this troll comment. Hey Democrats - suck my turbocharged tail pipe.

Re:I'm sorry - troll alert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28482115)

IHey Democrats - suck my turbocharged tail pipe.

Barney Frank pays good money for that sort of thing.

nothing will come of it (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28481723)

Reminds me of California's mandate to only sell zero-emission cars by 2005.
This bill has no teeth for 10 years. It is full of exceptions for the biggest polluters until then. The politicians are demanding science come up with a solution within that time. When the deadline comes it will be repealed unless a scientific miracle happens.
But it does make the US look good. That is what Kyoto was about for the countries that did sign on. NONE OF THE SIGNERS FOLLOWED THROUGH ON THEIR PROMISES.

Tax & Kill (2, Informative)

jim9000 (740810) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481755)

Cap & Trade won't swap smokestacks for windmills. Instead, it will just push energy costs through the roof and push most manufacturing jobs that are left overseas where there are no pollution controls at all. For anyone who is left here, all of these costs will be pushed right on to the consumer, as no business can afford to absorb this massive tax increase, nor should they be expected to absorb it even if they could.

It won't push people into smaller cars. Americans spend too much time in our cars to drive around in a micro car. Not all of us live in big cities with public transportation and easy access to stores. The Smart Fortwo couldn't even fit a one week load of groceries for the average American family. We have states that are larger than entire countries in other parts of the world - what works for them doesn't work for us.

All of this for reducing Carbon Dioxide - which is not proven to be a pollutant, and for reducing global warming - even when there is no proof that human activities are impacting climate.

Creating Chaos for Profit (5, Insightful)

Orne (144925) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481765)

Put a cap on the emissions that industry can output, then create a market where companies can trade the right to pollute. Cap and Trade.

The big question is, what is this Change going to do to the US economy?

  1. Create asymmetry between US industry and global industry for future growth. Why should I build my factory in the USA and go through the regulations when it just became more profitable to build it overseas?
  2. Existing price structures are scrambled. Estimates from the power industry say that once you add in the costs of Cap-and-trade, this will make Coal more expensive than Natural Gas fuel, completely flipping the fuel makeups of almost all electricity production markets. Since Coal is used as fuel for about half of the energy production [doe.gov] in the US, this will be disasterous to the wholesale markets. Since corporations always pass costs down to consumers, expect to see your retail electric bills go up by 5-15% [marshall.org] , or an average of $700-1400 per family per year.
  3. Who exactly is benefitting here? Estimates are that about $50 to $300 billion [americanprogress.org] is getting ready to change hands, with the government running the auction for the "rights" to pollute. It essentially puts extra costs on industry that uses polluting fuels, and the claims are that some of the money will become subsidies to cleaner/greener energy producers. Since zero-emission technology is currently 3x as expensive as fossil based technologies, there will not be any savings to the public, hense the comparisons to a "tax" for the public.

While all of cap-and-trade appears very poorly thought out, Pres. Obama actually fully intended this to happen [blogspot.com] , as interviewed almost a year ago. So, hold on to your wallet, change is coming...

Re:Creating Chaos for Profit (1)

lawnboy5-O (772026) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482097)

I have no more money to give... thank you America, for taking my dream and spending it on Chinese trinkets...

Free beer and guarenteed weight loss to follow. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28481775)

While they are promising stuff that will never happen, I want my flying car and monkeyman!

Peak Oil necessitates energy conservation (2, Interesting)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481879)

So far all I've read in this thread are posters decrying this as a massive tax grab. That's a limited perspective, to say the least.

Yeah, mod me down as a paranoid troll, but we're already passed Peak Oil.

For those who don't understand what Peak Oil is:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_oil [wikipedia.org]

Basically, it's what is IMO a fact, that oil production/extraction will peak at a certain level (X number of barrels per day) and then begin an inexorable decline. Whether or not this output is replaced by alternative energy remains to be seen.

Nonetheless, most people don't understand how much energy we get from oil. Oil is the densest, easiest to transport, and most reliable energy source available. Once it's gone, alternatives will fall short of those standards:

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/3084 [theoildrum.com]

The total oil production volume amounted to a cubic mile (not a type) of oil per year. To equal this, it would take 104 coal fired plants running for 50 years, 52 nuclear plants running for 50 years, 32, 800 wind turbines running for 50 years.... you get the picture.

So when oil production starts winding down, we'll be hard-pressed to replace that output. The only way we can aspire to coming close to equaling that output is through energy consumption and more efficient use of energy. So far, the government's record on this is pathetic, and the private sector has had, at best, limited results.

Re:Peak Oil necessitates energy conservation (5, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482117)

There isn't anything particularly crazy or stupid about using the cheapest available resource. Peak oil mongering is often based around the implied assumption that the decline will come in the form of a shock, requiring us to immediately replace all of the cheap oil in one fell swoop. Reality suggests that the price of oil will go up as it becomes more difficult to extract, leading to the gradual replacement of oil consumption over time (and each time someone comes up with a price viable replacement, it reduces the demand for the remaining oil, further smoothing out the transition).

Horrible Idea (1, Informative)

Ferretman (224859) | more than 5 years ago | (#28481887)

What a horrible, poorly-thought out idea this stupid bill represents. Getting to a cleaner method of energy production? YES. Doing it this way? NO. Obama voters -- sorry yet?

Re:Horrible Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28481993)

I think I can speak for the majority when I say nope.

Re:Horrible Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28482043)

Yeah. Sorry you're stupid enough to watch Fox.

Re:Horrible Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28482079)

American politics are about popularity.

So far everything obama has done, has had abysmal approval ratings. Nobody wanted stimulus, more bailouts, the outright takeover of the auto industry, or a monumental tax grab in the name of 'saving the children'.

Yet Obama's approval rating keeps going up.

It's absurd and has caused me to completely lose any faith I had in the "american spirit and ingenuity" which is supposed to save the world of tomorrow.

Face it, america, you are stupid, lethargic, greedy, spoiled, and in every way an empire in decline.

The modern nobility and ruling class are now taking what they see as theirs with both hands, with only a laughable veneer of social responsibility cloaking it all.

Don't forget there's another 10 trillion for the health care entitlements (corporate giveaways) coming down the pipe.

Re:Horrible Idea (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482099)

Virtually every person I know who voted for Obama has said they regret it. The best part is, we told them he would do this crap, yet they refused to listen.

Bunch of Alarmist! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28481989)

You All are so silly and a bunch of alarmist.

Don't you know that the laws of nature, and economics don't apply to the Democratic party...

As I understand it, Nancy Pelosi has a direct connection with a bunch of MaGiCaL Faries that can change the very laws governing nature and economics...

So don't be afraid, with a little pixie dust, and ALOT of Kool-Aid, you will be just fine...

Cap and Tax (3, Informative)

lgb (1570277) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482027)

This will be the largest tax increase in United States history. The House Dems are rushing this bill through without even reading the bill. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124597505076157449.html [wsj.com]

Balancing equations. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28482053)

Its about time polluters and persons leading dangerous lifestyles were charged for their wanton waste for which the rest of us and the world community has been directly paying for thru decreased health, happiness, and resource access.

Americans are learning that they havn't the right to use up every last drop of oil and atmosphere just to power McMansions and air condition football stadiums. With a slight imagination I think we can all dream of a few more lofty goals.

Let us Pray (0, Flamebait)

Danathar (267989) | more than 5 years ago | (#28482089)

Lord, protect me from those who would do me good.

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