23 May 2009

Proposed Cap and Trade Actually a Big Corporate Welfare Program

I know it's difficult to get upset about the collusion between corporations and the federal government after TARPapalooza, but the ever-reliable Reason directs our attention to a WSJ Op-Ed about massive corruption in the way in which Cap and Trade might be implemented. Despite Waxman not bothering to read the bill named after him, the Waxman-Markley Bill to radically alter policy is out of the Energy and Commerce Committe and up to Congress. The bill will give free CO2 emissions to influential corporations, which a CBO report from 2007 indicates would pass the cost along disproportionately to lower-income families. Too bad Joe Six Pack doesn't have a swanky office on K Street.

Bjorn Lomborg looks at who will benefit and who will not [WSJ]:

Naturally, many CEOs are genuinely concerned about global warming. But many of the most vocal stand to profit from carbon regulations. The term used by economists for their behavior is "rent-seeking."

The world's largest wind-turbine manufacturer, Copenhagen Climate Council member Vestas, urges governments to invest heavily in the wind market. It sponsors CNN's "Climate in Peril" segment, increasing support for policies that would increase Vestas's earnings. A fellow council member, Mr. Gore's green investment firm Generation Investment Management, warns of a significant risk to the U.S. economy unless a price is quickly placed on carbon.

Even companies that are not heavily engaged in green business stand to gain. European energy companies made tens of billions of euros in the first years of the European Trading System when they received free carbon emission allocations.
Great, so the swinging dicks in our society will become energy-trading CEOs with Enron-like ties to Washington, that asshole who invented the Segway, and Al Gore, while the rest of us have to scrounge around like Gypsies looking for heating oil. At this rate, a Lenin-style workers revolution ain't sounding like such a bad idea.