Cap-and-trade is all about families and jobs

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Winningreen Cap-and-Trade Recess Alert       A073109

Defeating cap-and-trade:  It’s all about families and jobs stupid!

By Gretchen Randall

  July 31, 2009

The Obama administration punted on dealing with climate change legislation (cap-and-trade) until the fall to concentrate on health care legislation.  While both agendas are facing similar obstacles such as high costs to consumers, cap-and-trade fears are also about harm to certain industries and the potential job losses.

As representatives and senators go back to their districts and hold town hall meetings, here are some of the questions we expect to be asked about cap-and-trade with our suggested answers:

Question #1. What is cap-and-trade legislation?

Answer: Democrats in Congress are aggressively working to pass a 1400-page global warming bill known as cap-and-trade  which would drastically increase energy costs at the gas pump, in the grocery store, and in our homes  —  all for no environmental gain.  This bill will also regulate buildings, homes, hot tubs, snowmobiles, lawnmowers, light fixtures, including imposing federal building codes on states and municipalities.

Answer:  Democrats in Congress want the U.S. to cap greenhouse gas emissions unilaterally which they claim will help reduce global warming.  This, despite scientific data that show that world temperatures have cooled since 1998 proving that global temperature changes are not due to human activity. 

Question #2: How is the trading in emissions going to work?  Who will benefit?

Answer: This bill would impose limits on carbon dioxide emissions from all manufacturing plants, power plants, refineries, etc.  If a plant exceeds its limit, it must buy “credits” from companies that produced fewer emissions and have “credits” to sell.  It will act like a commodities market with buying and selling of credits that could be valued at $650 billion or more.

Wall Street firms such as Goldman Sachs have been lobbying for this bill.  Sachs owns a stake in the Chicago Climate Exchange which is already trading carbon credits.  Al Gore has also formed a new company to buy and sell carbon credits.  Estimates are that the business of trading in carbon credits could be larger than the energy futures market.

Question#3: Will cap-and-trade cause my electricity prices to rise?

Answer: Yes, absolutely.  This bill intends to make energy scarce thus driving the cost of everyday living through the roof including your electric bills.  Some economists at the Heritage Institute estimate that electric bills will jump by a minimum of 50%.

Even President Obama admitted while campaigning last fall, “Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”

Question #4.  Will the cost of gasoline go to $4 a gallon or more under cap-and-trade?

Answer:  Undoubtedly, since fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas and diesel fuel are targeted in this legislation.  Gasoline and natural gas prices could rise by 50% so heating your home will necessarily rise.  The Congressional Budget Office (CB0) estimates the average family will see additional heating costs of $560-1800 per year if this is enacted, hurting the poor the most.

Question #5.  How will this bill affect jobs in coal producing states?

Answer: Sponsors of this bill would like to shut down coal-fired power plants and coal mining because they say coal is “dirty.”  They forget that almost half of our electricity nationwide is produced with coal and this would lead to a loss of  thousands of jobs.  President Obama said in January, “So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted.”

Question #6:  How will it affect jobs in other industries?

Answer: While proponents of cap-and-trade claim thousands of new “green jobs” will be created, when Spain tried converting to green jobs, they found that 2.2 regular jobs were lost for every one green job created.

Answer: According to the Government Accounting Office, legislation like cap-and-trade that would raise the cost of energy could have  “potentially disadvantaging industries in the United States. As a result, some domestic production could shift abroad, through changes in consumption or investment patterns, to countries where greenhouse gas emissions are less stringently regulated.”

Answer:   Farmers would also be hurt by cap-and-trade as the cost of their diesel fuel and fertilizer would skyrocket driving many family farms out of business. Democrat Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa even called for an “off-ramp” for farmers to be able to opt out of the constraints of this legislation if other countries don’t pass similar bills thereby acknowledging this legislation will harm family farms.

Question #7:  Why do we in America have to curtail our use of fossil fuel and cut emissions while China and India have decided not to do so? Aren’t these actions just punishing America?

Answer: India recently told Secretary of State Clinton that it would not cap emissions because such action would hurt their economy.  China is also reluctant to enact legislation that would curtail their growth because they have hundreds of coal plants and are adding more.  So, yes, passing cap-and-trade will force U.S. industries to move more jobs overseas to avoid emissions taxes thereby punishing American workers.

Question #8: Won’t this bill drive jobs overseas?

Answer:  Yes.  Harry Alford of the Black Chamber of Commerce testified before a Senate committee that, according to a study they conducted,  cap-and-trade legislation would lead to a loss of between 2.3 million and 2.7 million jobs and would “siphon away our nation’s wealth” and transfer it to China and India.

Question #9:  How did you vote on this?  Why did you vote for or against it? (This legislation has already passed the U.S. House but the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on it this fall.)

Answer:  You are on your own with this one.

Question #10:  Will this bill force me into a small car?

Answer:   Not this bill alone, but with the federal government controlling GM and Chrysler, in order for their small cars to sell, you will undoubtedly see regulations that push us into buying these smaller cars.

Question #11:  Why not put a tax on carbon and be done with it?

Answer:  That is what some have suggested because a tax would be more transparent.  In effect, if cap-and-trade legislation passes, this will be a huge tax on the price of oil, gasoline, natural gas to heat your home and everyone will pay higher energy prices, hurting the poor and minorities the most.

Question #12: Can cap-and-trade be stopped?

Answer:  Yes, but only with your help in calling your representatives and senators to tell them not to vote for this bill either in the U.S. Senate or if it gets to a conference between the House and Senate. To find the number of your senator or representative, go to:

Links: For more information on cap-and-trade legislation and the harm it will cause America:  or  

Contact: Gretchen Randall
Winningreen LLC
Chicago, IL 60613
Phone: 773-857-5086