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Obama climate plan may cost trillions

April 6, 2009 by  

Obama climate plan may cost trillionsBy the admission of White House staffers, the administration’s climate proposal could cost industry up to $2 trillion, and the Senate has just blocked the efforts to put climate-change legislation on a fast track.

President Obama’s proposal calls for a carbon cap-and-trade system that would set limits on greenhouse gas emissions and force industry to buy permits to pollute. However, it has been blasted by critics as a tax on carbon-emitting companies.

"The last thing we need is a massive tax increase in a recession, but reportedly that’s what the White House is offering," said Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Minority Leader John A. Boehner.

"And since this energy tax won’t affect manufacturers in Mexico, India and China, it will do nothing but drive American jobs overseas," he added.

Given its potential consequences, the Senate has rejected the administration’s efforts to fast-track the legislation through Congress.

Republican Senator Mike Johanns of Nebraska hailed the move by stressing that the climate legislation can have a deep impact on American families and the economy, and as such it should be subject to appropriate scrutiny and open debate.

Reuters has reported Democrats could still try to attach the bill to the federal budget allowing it to be passed by a simple majority, but it says the chances are slim because they do not have enough support.

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  • mike

    Please everyone this is a ACTION ALERT!!!

    You must You Tube “The Obama Deception” and watch the movie in it’s entirety.

    We are no longer a Democracy rather we are a Aristocracy.

  • John R

    Success in the future will require change. The existing structure is outdated and will not lead to a strong country in the 24th century. For all the libertarians that think that a pure free market is the solution, you are delusional. The world economy demands interaction. The free hand will not function if there are “cheaters” those that are driven by greed and power doom libertarianism to the same theoretical garbage heap as Communisim.

    Energy and sustainable consumption are the keys to the next century, capitalism was the engine for the 20th century but the warts are really starting to show, if the chinese continue to emerge, and there is no reason to expect that they won’t, the US will not be the leading economy in the next thirty to fifty years.

    The US needs to reinvent itself to continue to lead, that means that the US must learn to compete with the emerging nations, protectionism won’t protect the US, pure unfettered captilism favours the emerging nations as they are willing to work for 10% of what Americans expect and need. the idea that the US should not push industry away from high carbon emmisions because we have to compete with China who does not have the same standards is the same as saying that US workers should accept wage cuts so that they can compete with the Chinese. Innovation and invention are the hallmarks of US success, the time for change is now, looking back and saying that this is the path to the future is a formula for failure.

    So looking to develop sustainable comsumption and green energy alternatives will allow the US to move forward in markets that emerging nations cannot compete in effectivly. The combination of sustainability, zero emmision energy, and technological inovation that has created a communications revolution look to be the key economic engines of the next century.

    I say good for Obama, it is time to look ahead not back and find a way to future prosperity. Companies that are required to adjust to carbon emmision standards are going to be well positioned for the economy of the future. Those that can’t adjust to the standards won’t survive in the future anyways, so why prop them up?

  • Mike

    I’ll tell you what irritates me the most in this argument, and that’s the notion that the Earth and the environment is on the brink of collapse unless we decrease carbon output. The entire formulation that claims that carbon in the atmosphere is severely effecting the climate is completely and totally flawed. The computer models used can’t accurately depict weather patterns that have already come and gone, but those spouting this nonsense contend that their results on future weather patterns is fool proof. The only scientists making these claims are the ones that have been funded by various governments and the U.N. (that stalwart arbiter of the truth, right!)

    Also, many of these scientists have no formal training in climate or meteorology, or the physics that guide them. One scientist who does, and is regarded as perhaps the most knowledgeable person in these matters is MIT’s Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology Richard Lindzen, and he totally rebukes the entire thesis.

    I believe that most people favor alternative sources of energy but what gets my blood boiling is the notion that people have to be forced off of carbon based energy by making the cost go through the roof. Even if a viable energy source was discovered tomorrow it would take a minimum of 10-15 years to fully implement it. Thus, seeing that we have an abundance of coal, and vast reserves of oil why not utilize them until the possibility of a replacement energy source becomes a reality? Why the need to punish people with extreme energy costs? That’s liberal think, beat people down in order to make them obedient.

    And even if the goal of reducing carbon output by 80% is realized, at a cost of $Trillions mind you, the result would be roughly a 1 degree temperature change. 1 degree isn’t going to have any significance what so ever, and the trillions of dollars spent could be used for areas of far greater need. But again liberals don’t think that way, they seek to rule over the masses by making them poorer and bringing down everyone’s standard of living.

  • Eric g

    I sure liked both John R and Mike's solutions although they are probably the same and yet opposites . I have been dreaming if some how we could capture this carbon we are belching in the air now ? This should make really good fertilizer for growing crops . I agree with both of these guys . We should be able to do this now , by pelleting the smoke ,or liquifying it . Charcoal maybe would hold it ,but I dont have any idea how much charcoal could hold or if plants could utilize nutreints from enriched charcoal .
    I'am all for us working on this now . along with H2 production . I understand honda's clartity is being leased to californians right now for a somewhat reasonable price . So there is some action going in the right direction ,

  • Eric g

    The trouble is John R there are cheaters , In fact I think we are all cheaters . I dont think we will get to the 24th century ,becuase there are just too many cheaters .

  • Eric g

    Don’t knock free enterprize , The Free hand will not function if there are cheaters driven by greed or power . This statement sounds like a college professor or a government employee . They are without sin . Or so they think ,
    A new and differant system has been tried many times . Always trying to stop the cheaters , the new system of leadership always needs more power and more laws to stop the cheaters . Untill they find that they themselves are the biggest cheaters of all . Look at our finacial crisses right now . Its not the little banks in trouble The main problem is greed and power seekers . you must admit they are more prevalent in our government than out . Whose fault is this ? its all of our fault . evrey administration sooner or latter just gets to be to many cheaters .
    The advantage the free enterprise system has it lets the greedy and power hungry to work against each other . to the benifit of us all .

    • John

      Hi Eric,

      I am not suggesting that there is any way to avoid human nature. There are people who will strive to control through the inappropriate use of power, this is evident at every level of society, from classroom bullies to gangs in inner city neighborhoods to CEO’s of global corporations. There are people whose personalities will push, and take from those around them. There are lots of examples of societies from harsh climates (the vikings are a good example) raiding there neighbors.

      So to understand that there is an element of human nature that will take advantage of any opportunity and then to expect that somehow a system of government can be developed where everyone does whatever they want and that the freehand will keep us all in line is, I think ridiculous.

      Nations have laws and public goods because it keeps the playing field even. We have laws against monopolies because when a company has monopoly power they tend to attack the up and coming competitors and overcharge their customers. We have predetory pricing laws so that a company can’t open a single store in a market where there competition has a hundred stores and then under charge in that location losing money but forcing their competition to lose 100 times as much when they have to match prices (gas stations frequently try this). Regulation and laws are allows adapting to the world, that means more regulations as time goes on, this current financial disaster will result in regulatory changes, I think that is good. I don’t like speeding tickets but some going 50 through a school zone should be regulated – right?

      This is not a problem with governments it is aproblem with human nature. We elect officials so that they represent our interests at the seat of power. I want these guys to be thinking about where the country is going and I want them to provide opportunities to make it easier for me to get there.

      I am a self emplyed guy with about 14 employees. I love business and I certainly do not have a problem paying my taxes, I want good infrastructure – there are lots of communities that would never have sufficient funds if all infrastructure was based on the free market, but all those communities together are what makes America great. I like a strong legal system, I think the current military expendeture is extreme but I want a strong military.

      Government is not inherently bad, but there is a level of greed in humans and the people that seek power tend to be ambitious. So in a democracy we are responsible for keeping them honest, for the most part I think they are.

      I don’t think that the current system is perfect but it is the best in the world, right now. I certainly think that it needs to continually evolve and I don’t think that the answer to the future lays in the simplicity of the past, the world is interconnected, that is good, just like the evolutuion from tribal to city states to nations was good. The future is filled with opportunities and challenges, I welcome the changes that will help to meet them. The world is not coming to an end America is not going to be communist or fascist, it is going to need to change it is getting ready for a new chapter, bigger better smarter, innovation will solve this problem not retoric and backward thinking.

  • David

    John, I do agree with you somewhat. Sustainable energy/building is here to stay and does make good sense.

    I am an environmental manager for a large iron foundry by day and a part time general contractor. I do see the writing on the wall and am working on my LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification so I can capitalize on this growing trend.

    What I do disagree with is the pending climate change legislation. It is total junk and means nothing for the environment. Did anyone mention that CO2 is a byproduct of operating efficiently and that it is not a pollutant? China and India are much less efficient at production and create far more GHGs per ton of product produced. Did anyone mention that our earth is entering a perfectly circular orbit around the sun? This occurs about every 100k years and causes the earth’s ice caps to melt. Ask the archaeologists…..not Gore.

    This will be the single most largest tax on industry in the history of our country. I have been to DC twice, with the iron and steel foundry associations, to meet with our state senators and congressmen to help educate them what this will do to the American industry as we know it. Plus we are not the furniture industry which went bye bye years ago. We make the tank parts, bomb shells, engine castings, etc. I do not think we can order these if we are at war with China……that did raise some interest with the senators and DOE gurus.

    I truely believe that our now left of center government knows this is true and does not care because furthur unemployment by collapsing industries means more dependent blue collar workers for the sheep herd. Did the media bother to tell the average citizen that there utility bills will also increase dramatically….especially in the coal rich midwest? Yes the power industry will simply pass along the cost; the rest of us will continue to compete with the emerging markets head on.

    And on top of that we add the way stupid “card check” legislation that the unions are pushing so hard to get. For those of you who do not know what this will do….it makes it much simpler for the unions to organize a business because Guido will be able to watch the votes being cast by each employee. This is unreal! Does the history of the big three not teach us anything?

    So John, yes we are the strongest country in the world, for now, but aren’t you the least bit concerned that we are handing the emerging nations the rope to hang us with?

  • John R

    CO2 is not a pollutant, neither is water vapor but both are greenhouse gases. So the issue is not just pollution but climate impact. I think that this entire discussion is in fact a red herring. The key is what industries will make America stronger in the future. If it is possible to deal with key infrastructure development and solve a “potential” problem at the same time, then all the better.

    When you look at the “productivity” miracle that helped drive the US economy over the last decade you will get some idea of the impact that developing technology will have.

    Quality of life issues will be a big issue over the next century. The US is certainly not leading the world in climate change initiatives which means that the fear of being uncompetitive is unfounded; if anything this becomes a non-tariff trade barrier for China, India, Russia etc. as the US can require certain production standards.

    Energy production and IT infrastructure are the keys to a competitive economy going forward. Robotics and other developments in mechanized production are going to change the nature of employment for the middle class. If a factory or a retail store can be run less expensively and more efficiently with fewer or with no employees the nations productive capacity in increased, goods and services are increased but traditional employment is impacted. The US will have to change how income is distributed as there is no economy without people making and spending money. The invisible hand cuts itself off when the means of production are not primarily humans. Environmental issues with people focused on cleaning up the planet will become big industries, just like farming which used to be the occupation of 90% of the population was replaced by factory work and then office and service industries the future will look very different from today. The problems of over population and pollution (not just green house gases but sulfur and plastic etc etc etc)

    If you are talking about the next few years none of the long term investments in modifying infrastructure are relevant as they will not become significant for the next couple of decades but sustainable power and IT infrastructure will drive the economies of the next century, just like roads, power and water infrastructure drove the last century.

    My understanding of the more circular orbit known as Milankovich variations (sometthing that is very much theory) is that they predict ice ages not warming. If you want a good scientific model of global change MIT has an interesting one “MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change”, it takes into account natural and manmade issues and predicts a potential increase in average temperature of as much as 5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. If you don’t believe in climate change, OK. It still makes sense to me to create new industries and to remove the climate change issue. The argument that it is too expensive is irrelevant, renewable power with low environmental impact will be a key to success moving forward, it’s time make some investments and get started.

  • s c

    When a scientist says we have a climate problem, that’s one thing. If a POLITICIAN says we have a climate problem, history tells me that I’m dealing with a liar.
    A scientist should have the credentials to give me a qualified opinion. A POLITICIAN tends to be a self-serving SKUNK who is power-mad.
    Recently, a certain politician was handed a Nobel Prize for climate matters (and is being sued – finally).
    Science I can trust. POLITICIANS don’t pack the gear, and they are about to get a serious dose of reality – finally. In God we trust. Scientists, maybe. POLITICIANS NEVER!

  • s c

    If you haven’t seen it yet, you owe it to yourself to watch ‘Al Gore Slammed by Congress’ on YouTube. Anyone who doubts Gore’s
    GRAVITAS (remember that word, ultralibs?), watch this short film. If you don’t know that people like Gore will get filthy RICH from this damnable global warming SCAM, it’s true. Let Gore try to deny it!
    It was most informative to watch Gore squirm. Why is he AFRAID to debate the global warming SCAM with anyone? What does he have to hide from America? Gore, if you don’t remember, didn’t recognize the bust of Thomas Jefferson when he and Bubba Clinton toured Jefferson’s home. And we’re supposed to look up to someone like Gore? Gore is a pathetic joke. His friends are money-grubbing robber barons.
    It was obvious that Gore doesn’t like to be questioned about anything – let alone the global warming SCAM. For America’s sake, Gore needs to be in front of Congress on a regular basis. It’s hilarious watching a wannabe ‘elite’ squirm in the public spotlight -
    especially when he knows he can’t afford to be seen as the boob he truly is. Enjoy, Big Al!


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