So, Yeah, It Looks Like Cap and Trade is Back

 

PethWarmingIn a plan to be unveiled next week, according to The New York Times, “President Obama will use his executive authority to cut carbon emissions from the nation’s coal-fired power plants by up to 20 percent ….” This rule, written by the EPA, will “set a national limit on carbon pollution from coal plants [and] allow each state to come up with its own plan to cut emissions based on a menu of options that include adding wind and solar power, energy-efficiency technology and creating or joining state cap-and-trade programs.”

Right, there’s a menu of options, but it is clear from the story that the easiest path for states likely is the cap-and-trade route where carbon emission permits would be auctioned:

Many states are already researching how to join or replicate the nation’s two existing state-level cap-and-trade plans, both of which bear the signatures of prominent Republicans: Mitt Romney, the 2012 presidential nominee and former Massachusetts governor, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former California governor. As governor of Massachusetts, Mr. Romney was a key architect of a cap-and-trade program in nine northeastern states, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

So the 2010 battle that national Republicans thought they won looks now looks like an Obama victory at the state level, at least as presented by the newspaper. I would assume, though, that litigation will ensure. Would the rationing scheme raise energy costs in the short-term? That’s the point. The US Chamber of Commerce speculates that the EPA plan “will cost America’s economy over $50 billion a year between now and 2030.” Does it potentially provide ample opportunity for cronyist favoritism? The original Obama plan sure did. On the plus side, higher fossil fuel costs might make nuclear energy–the most viable clean energy source out there–more economically competitive.That was certainly the theory with the Obama plan back in 2009. And US leadership on the issue could cause other nations, particularly China, to follow.

There are 9 comments.

  1. Proud Skeptic Inactive

    How about if everyone just says “no”? Each state’s AG can simply write an opinion that the Executive Branch has no authority to do this. By the time it works its way through the courts Obama will be out of office. Use their own delaying tactics against them.

    • #1
    • May 29, 2014, at 5:25 PM PDT
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  2. KC Mulville Inactive

    Between proposals like these, and reparations, and Eric Holder concocting new schemes every other day — this looks as if the progressives realize that after the last six years, the country is unlikely to trust them with anything for a while … so they better get their nutty schemes in now, while they have a chance.

    • #2
    • May 29, 2014, at 5:39 PM PDT
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  3. Nick Stuart Inactive

    And the coal states keep voting Democrat. Illinois for example (which yes, whether you knew it or not is a large coal and oil producing state), nobody, including Jim Oberweis himself, gives Oberweis a chance against Dick Durbin. Electric bills here in my Illinois suburg are going up by 10% this year. I’m wondering how many people are going to put the pieces together.

    Why is Joe Manchin still a Democrat? 

    When I drove through the huge windfarm just north of Lafayette, IN on I-65 two days ago, only one of literally hundreds of turbines were turning. And it was as absolutely perfect a day for wind-generated electricity as you can imagine. 

    This is just crazy. And I have no confidence whatever that the Republicans will do anything about it even if they win the Senate this year, and the White House in 2016.

    • #3
    • May 29, 2014, at 9:00 PM PDT
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  4. Randy Weivoda Moderator

    $50 billion a year is a small price to pay for delaying a certain temperature benchmark by a couple of months at the end of the century.

    • #4
    • May 30, 2014, at 7:26 AM PDT
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  5. Old Bathos Member

    Go for it, Mr. President. I want California, Massachusetts and the other usual suspects to mandate that all electrical power come from non-fossil fuel, super-green sources. Since big blue states trend to import electricity (generating plants are like so icky), if other states don’t choose to replace all their existing plants, the Blue States will either have brownouts or major energy pricing issues. It will get cold in Mass on windless nights and cloudy winter days when wind and sunshine supply most of their power. 
    I suggest (a) no more federal subsidies for energy of any kind and (b) a Blue State energy tax, i.e., . if a state does not allow or develop enough energy generation in-state, they should be taxed on what they import (Commerce Clause, bitches!). So do whatever works but do only what works and pay for it yourself and don’t expect other states to subsidize it. Get as green as your voters will allow and are ready to pay for.

    • #5
    • May 30, 2014, at 7:44 AM PDT
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  6. Randy Weivoda Moderator

    Old Bathos:

     I suggest (a) no more federal subsidies for energy of any kind and (b) a Blue State energy tax, i.e., . if a state does not allow or develop enough energy generation in-state, they should be taxed on what they import (Commerce Clause, bitches!). So do whatever works but do only what works and pay for it yourself and don’t expect other states to subsidize it. Get as green as your voters will allow and are ready to pay for.

    I agree with you an A, but not B. If some states have excess capacity, what’s wrong with them selling juice into other states? The Commerce Clause exists to inhibit states from imposing interstate tariffs, not to promote such tariffs. If the people of California stupidly won’t allow more power plants to be built, and power plants in neighboring states want to sell power to California utilities, why should anyone stand in the way? Other states aren’t subsidizing anything if the Californians are paying a market price for the imported electrons.

    • #6
    • May 30, 2014, at 8:10 AM PDT
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  7. Profile Photo Member

    Do Reform Conservatives really care if Cap and Trade is implemented? Don’t think so.

    • #7
    • May 30, 2014, at 6:35 PM PDT
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  8. Randy Webster Member

    On the plus side, higher fossil fuel costs might make nuclear energy–the most viable clean energy source out there–more economically competitive.

    How is this a plus? How are higher energy costs a plus under any circumstances? Higher energy costs mean higher costs for EVERYTHING. This is good?

    • #8
    • May 31, 2014, at 4:47 AM PDT
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  9. MACHO GRANDE' (aka - Chri… Coolidge

    Randy Weivoda:

    Old Bathos:

    I suggest (a) no more federal subsidies for energy of any kind and (b) a Blue State energy tax, i.e., . if a state does not allow or develop enough energy generation in-state, they should be taxed on what they import (Commerce Clause, bitches!). So do whatever works but do only what works and pay for it yourself and don’t expect other states to subsidize it. Get as green as your voters will allow and are ready to pay for.

    I agree with you an A, but not B. If some states have excess capacity, what’s wrong with them selling juice into other states? The Commerce Clause exists to inhibit states from imposing interstate tariffs, not to promote such tariffs. If the people of California stupidly won’t allow more power plants to be built, and power plants in neighboring states want to sell power to California utilities, why should anyone stand in the way? Other states aren’t subsidizing anything if the Californians are paying a market price for the imported electrons.

     Because we want to punish our enemies.

    • #9
    • May 31, 2014, at 5:53 AM PDT
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