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Cap and Trade is Going Down

Cap and Trade is….going….down. And that’s probably a good thing :-

“Cap and trade dropped from Senate’s energy-climate change bill : March 31 : DC Policy Reform Examiner JoAnn Blake : Cap and trade, a centerpiece of the Waxman-Markey Bill passed by the House, won’t be included in the upcoming Senate version of the bipartisan energy-climate change legislation, according to its sponsors. Viewed [ BY ECONOMISTS ] as an effective environmental program that uses the market’s power to reduce pollution, the program became known as “cap-and-tax,” a name given to it by conservative groups in the past year. “The term itself became too polarizing and too paralyzing in the effort to win over conservative Democrats and moderate Republicans to try to do something about climate change and our oil dependency,” says Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, in a March 26 article in The New York Times. The idea actually began as a Republican plan 20 years ago under the first Bush administration to reduce sulfur dioxide pollution or “acid rain” and was successful at a lower cost than had been estimated. The Times article suggests that while trying to gather a majority to pass the bill, Reps Waxman and Markey gave out too many concessions and exemptions to utilities, refiners, oil drillers, heavy industries and other groups. A number of companies, including big utilities and Goldman Sachs, stood to reap windfall profits because they would be get free allowance coupons. Initially, President Obama had proposed a 100 percent auction of permits with a large tax rebate going to consumers to cover their higher energy costs, but the simplicity of the concept became lost in House negotiations. Senators Lindsay Graham (R-S.C), John Kerry (D-Mass) and Joe Liberman (I-Conn) are putting together a different bill, but one also containing compromises, expected to be introduced in April.”

You can expect various commentators to wring their hands and try and fight it :-

But remember, the guys selling you Cap-and-Trade are the same guys who brought you the Financial Services Bubble.

And this time, the commodity they’d like to sell you is literally vapour !

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