Cap-and-trade exposed as huge tax hike for middle America

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Winningreen Issue Alert       A031009

Cap-and-trade gets exposed for what it is:  huge tax hike for middle America

By Gretchen Randall

  March 10, 2009

Issue:   The Obama administration plans to use cap-an-trade legislation to increase the federal coffers by taxing CO2 emissions from industries ostensibly to fund alternative energy research.   Obama’s budget projects receipts to the federal government of $646 billion by 2019 from selling “credits” to industries that emit CO2.

Some industry leaders backed cap-and-trade legislation last year hoping that they would not have to pay for all of their emissions but have since realized that they will have to buy “credits” for all their emissions thus raising costs considerably. James Rogers, the CEO of Duke Energy, one of the largest producers of coal-fired electricity, said the Obama budget plan would raise electricity costs in states that have coal-fired electricity plants (much of the Midwest, South and Plains) by 40 percent. California, home of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, would be hurt less because its utilities use less coal.

It appears that, gradually, a few in Congress, the media and industry are realizing the damage to the economy  Obama’s plan will have.  Here are a few of the examples:

Cap-and-trade’s cost to workers:  Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said in The Hill newspaper, “Obama’s plan would lead to an increase in energy costs and would drive American firms abroad.  It really does say to manufacturing, ‘Go to China, where they have weaker environmental standards.  And that’s a very bad message in bad economic times — in any economic times.”

Cap-and-trade’s cost to manufacturers:
  “President Barack Obama's proposed cap-and-trade system on greenhouse gas emissions is a giant economic dagger aimed at the nation's heartland -- particularly Michigan. It is a multibillion-dollar tax hike on everything that Michigan does, including making things, driving cars and burning coal.  The carbon tax will be paid by energy companies, manufacturers and public utilities, who will pass the cost on to their consumers. Michigan will be especially targeted. It gets 60 percent of its electric power from coal plants, and the state's economy is still reliant on heavy manufacturing such as car and truck assembly and auto parts production.”   Detroit News editorial :

Cap-and-trade’s cost to consumers:  “Put another way, the cap-and-trade approach is the equivalent of a permanent tax increase for the average American household, which was estimated to be $1,100 in 2008, would rise to $1,437 by 2015, to $1,979 in 2030, and $2,979 in 2050.” from “The Cost of Climate Regulation for American Households” study just released by the Marshall Institute at:

Cap-and-trade’s cost to utilities: Warren Buffet, an Obama supporter, acknowledged in a CNBC TV interview this week that cap-and-trade means a tax on utilities which will be passed on to its customers saying, “It’s a tax hike like anything else.”

Cap-and-trade’s effect on fly-over country:  “Coal provides more than half of U.S. electricity, and 25 states get more than 50% of their electricity from conventional coal-fired generation. In Ohio, it totals 86%, according to the Energy Information Administration. Ratepayers in Indiana (94%), Missouri (85%), New Mexico (80%), Pennsylvania (56%), West Virginia (98%) and Wyoming (95%) are going to get soaked.”  Wall St. Journal chart on emissions of coastal states vs. middle America:

Cap-and-trade’s boon to a boondoggle Congress:  “An economy-wide tax under the cover of saving the environment is the best political moneymaker since the income tax. Obama officials are already telling the press, sotto voce, that climate revenues might fund universal health care and other new social spending.” Excerpt from “Who Pays for Cap and Trade?"

Contact: Gretchen Randall
Winningreen LLC
3712 N. Broadway – PMB 279
Chicago, IL 60613
Phone: 773-857-5086