Cap-and-trade is a hidden tax disguised as an eco-friendly initiative to make the world a better place for the next generation. Find out what it’s going to cost you.
If God gave man dominion over the earth – and He did – then why are legislators on Capitol Hill issuing 300-plus-page bills at 3 a.m. in an effort to give earth dominion over man?
At the heart of the American Clean Energy and Security Act is the controversial cap-and-trade program. Here’s how it works: In order to emit greenhouse gases, a company needs government permits equal to the number of carbon dioxide tonnage it wants to emit. The federal government plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by issuing fewer permits each year. Specifically, the bill mandates U.S. emissions be cut by 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2010, 42 percent by 2030 and 83 percent by 2050.
The promise of cap-and-trade is to stimulate innovative ways to produce goods and services using less energy from carbon-based fuels. But it comes at a great cost to American consumers and flies in the face of Scripture. Indeed, some characterize cap-and-trade as nothing more than a hidden tax on the American people while the poor get poorer and Wall Street gets richer. The good news is the American Clean Energy and Security Act hasn’t passed through the Senate yet. That means there’s still time to enforce God’s Word on the earth.
The Real Cost of Cap-and-TradeA recent MIT study showed that cap-and-trade energy tax proposals would cost the average American household $3,900 a year. Climatologist Dr. S. Fred Singer has called cap-and-trade the “equivalent of an atomic bomb directed at the U.S. economy – all without any scientific justification.” Experts insist cap-and-trade would raise taxes, raise the cost of energy, raise the number of companies that go bankrupt, raise unemployment, and raise poverty. Again, God’s Word says that man has dominion over the earth. The cap-and-trade program clearly gives the needs of the earth priority over the needs of man.
“Obama’s proposed cap and trade policy is a prescription for another economic debacle,” says Bob Chapman, a former U.S. Army counter-intelligence agent. “Sure, his administration talks of resulting emissions reductions, but they also point out the estimated revenues they expect in excess of $3,000 per household. But this is an average, mind you. The brunt of that tax expense will fall on the working families in the Midwest, South and the Great Plains . . . the middle class Obama vowed during his campaign to fight for, and the same middle class already hurting in this economy.”
William Redpath, Libertarian National Committee Chairman, calls cap-and-trade legislation the offspring of bad science and bad economics. As he sees it, imposing massive new taxes on carbon production destroys jobs and drastically increases consumer prices with no proven effect on global temperatures.
“Cap and tax compounds the suffering of so many in this economy, with no scientific evidence whatsoever it helps the environment,” Redpath says. “The research is in and the economic toll of cap and tax is inescapable. With cap and tax, job losses will rise by an additional 1,105,000 Americans each year. In the worst years, 2,479,000 will lose their jobs annually under cap and tax.”
Studies suggest electric bills could rise by an inflation-adjusted 90 percent. The price of gasoline could rise by an inflation-adjusted 74 percent. That would add $1,500 to the average family’s annual energy bill, which hits the poor and the elderly the hardest. The increased costs of energy also force any business using energy to raise their prices, making food, medicine and other essentials more unaffordable.
“There is never a good time to impose billions of dollars in new taxes on job creators that send consumer prices skyrocketing and job prospects plummeting,” Redpath says. “But in this economy, voting for cap and tax is an easy way to send a member of Congress to an early retirement. Even worse, it has virtually no effect on the environment.”
Crippling U.S. ManufacturingCap-and-trade is not just going to cost the American people more of their hard earned money, it’s also going to drive up the federal debt. According to the Heritage Foundation, the federal debt would rise to about $30,000 per person by 2035. That means the next generation would see higher energy costs, less income and fewer job prospects, says David Kreutzer, a senior policy analyst in Energy Economics and Climate Change at The Heritage Foundation, a public policy research institute in Washington, D.C.
“This bill is supposed to be for the benefit of the next generation,” Kreutzer says. “But cap-and-trade reduces temperatures only five one-hundredths of a degree by 2050. I don’t think I want that deal. My family would owe $115,000 more and it’s not much cooler. What people need to realize is that cap-and-trade works like a tax. This is an energy tax – and it’s a big one. All taxes discourage economic activity.”
It works like a tax because the manufacturers will pass the cost of cap-and-trade on to consumers through higher priced goods. Once again, bad science rules the congress and no thought is given to the law of unintended consequences, according to John Spisak, president of SolaRover, a mobile solar power generation company in Denver. It would seem intuitive that draconian carbon taxes would be great news to the renewable energy industry. However, Spisak says, as with everything government tries to control in the marketplace, the consequences are almost always worse than the original problem.
Spisak says these taxes will fall disproportionately on the lowest income people and drive up the price of everything that is manufactured, making the U.S. non-competitive against India and China. In fact, Spisak says to think that these taxes will drive everyone into wind and solar is “folly.” He predicts the prices of all the commodities that go into the development of solar and wind projects – steel, copper wire, glass – will skyrocket making these projects even more expensive.
“There is no guarantee the hypocrisy in all of this will stop there – what about bio-diesel and seaweed fuels?” Spisak asks. “These may be enviro-darlings, but they also pour CO2 into the atmosphere when consumed. Will they be taxed just like oil? The U.S. needs a balanced energy mosaic and the playing field needs to be level. Our future depends on it.”
Stopping Cap-and-TradeThe move toward the hidden taxes that are cap-and-trade didn’t spring up overnight, and the root runs deep into the green movement. Environmental activists have been driving toward this type of sweeping climate legislation for the past 30 years. The goal is to reshape the way America uses energy, according to Andrew M. Langer, President of The Institute for Liberty, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy organization focused on the impact of federal public policy on small business and entrepreneurship.
“We can stop cap-and-trade. The more we raise the issues with moderate Democrats, the more we bring them to our side. We have to make people realize this is not an emotional issue. This is a rational issue and the case is against cap-and-trade for many rational reasons,” Langer says. “When people realize that Enron was the company that came up with the concept of cap-and-trade to create an artificial marketplace of tradable commodities based on nothing, they’ll begin to see the light. Enron collapsed because cap-and-trade wasn’t the only artificial marketplace they were trying to create, but unfortunately the concept of cap-and-trade lives on.”
What Americans don’t know is that Wall Street is looking to profit from cap-and-trade. Carbon brokerages like Evolution Markets and Climate Wedge are poised to benefit if carbon trading becomes the next big trend on Wall Street. Meanwhile, Corporate America is preparing for what many think is the inevitable. Business software firm SAP announced it would acquire Clear Standards, an enterprise carbon management solutions firm, in May. Clear Standards helps organizations accurately measure, optimize and report greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts across internal operations. SAP expects to accelerate its ability to meet the carbon management requirements of organizations in this time of increasingly stringent government regulations and expectations for better transparency by the public.
One of the reasons why such potentially dangerous legislation has gotten so far is ignorance. When Abraham and Lot had so much cattle that the land could no longer support it, they did not enact legislation to restrict the grazing to protect the interests of the environment. In other words, they didn’t violate the covenant to be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, subdue it and have dominion. They found another solution. The same holds true of Jacob and Esau after they reunited. These men of God were faithful not to violate the Word of God.
Again, the problem is ignorance. The gap between Capitol Hill and Main Street is huge when it comes to the so-called “cap-and-trade” legislation being considered in Congress. So wide, in fact, that few voters even know what the proposed legislation is all about, according to a May Rasmussen poll. Given a choice of three options, just 24 percent of voters can correctly identify the cap-and-trade proposal as something that deals with environmental issues. A slightly higher number (29 percent) believe the proposal has something to do with regulating Wall Street while 17 percent think the term applies to health care reform. A plurality (30 percent) have no idea.
God gave man dominion over the earth. Cap-and-trade forces man to submit to the environment. Can you see it? You are no longer ignorant. You see the costs, you see the lack of evidence to support global warming, you see the damage this hidden tax would cause our nation. Now it’s up to you to stand up and speak out. You can get contact information for your Senators here. Take action and stop this bill in the Senate now, or pay more taxes tomorrow.