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LISTEN NOWThe Freedom Files Podcast Episode 29: Brent BozellListen Here


Cap and Trade May Not Be Dead

The U.S House Committee on Environment and Public Works met for the first time in three years yesterday to discuss the issue of global warming. Global warming has lost its steam with Americans, with many of them no longer trusting what the scientist are even saying now.  President Obama and the Democratic representatives in the House and Senate are calling for an energy revolution to reduce the use of reliable and affordable energy provided by fossil fuels in favor of ‘green’ energy. The Obama administration first tried to achieve its energy revolution through a costly cap-and-trade regime created in the Waxman-Markey bill, which would have cost Americans jobs and money. When the bill could not be passed in the Senate, President Obama opted to  impose his economically devastating plans through the bureaucracy, spearheaded by an aggressive regulatory push by the EPA.  In addition, Senator Inhofe has identified $68 billion of taxpayer money that has already been spent on the global warming agenda, including disastrous loans to solar companies who are failing left and right. 

The Democratic members of the Committee are urging more legislation to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and continue to support a cap and trade bill. But one sitting member from Arkansas noted that a cap and trade bill would increase electric and gas prices in his state to levels greater than struggling Americans could afford. Senator Inhofe also noted a study finding that cap and trade could cost anywhere from $300-$400 billion per year. It was also found that even under a cap and trade system there would be no significant, if any, change in CO2 or greenhouse gas levels. At the same time, however, the regulations would hinder growth in the economy. A major reason as to why the regulation would do nothing to diminish emissions is the fact that developing nations such as China, Russia, and India are responsible for a growing share of emissions. Sens. Boxer and Sanders acknowledge this issue but maintain that it is our moral and economic duty to lead the world in making these green changes. I find it very hard to believe that just because America begins implementing ‘green’ technology to reduce emissions that China, Mexico and other major sources of emissions would suddenly follow suit. Therefore, American companies would be dumping millions of dollars into compliance for something that in the long-run does nothing to change emission levels, but would most likely lead to more outsourcing and economic harm due to the increased cost of conducting business in the U.S. 

Rand Strauss

Should we support green energy? In my view, global warming is real and accelerating. There's also a Carbon Tax and Rebate bill in Congress which looks promising. It leverages market forces to make green energy competitive. Cap and Trade looks interesting on the surface, but has all sorts of problems with it- it requires projects to honestly report their carbon savings, and companies to honestly report their projected CO2 levels. It's a complex system ripe for corruption. The Carbon Tax and Rebate bill is much simpler.

To get China and other countries involved begins with our willingness to commit. If we could pass a bill like this, the US could then seriously undertake an international agreement. Without passage of such a bill and with our obstructionist congress, no international agreement is possible.

Dr. Jones

Most of the CO2 in our environment is the result of natural processes. Natural CO2 in our environment results in about 97 percent of the total CO2 in our astmosphere. Over 97% of all greenhouse gases are natural and there is nothing we can do about them. For example, India's population of one billion people produces more carbon dioxide just by breathing than is produced by all the coal-burning power plants in the United States. Moreover, termites are said to produce more carbon dioxide each year than all other living organisms combined. Environmentalists would have you believe that the greenhouse effect originated in the 20th century. The greenhouse effect is essential to the survival of life on Earth. If there were no greenhouse gases, the temperature of the air would be about 32°F (18°C) colder than it is. In other words, the world would be frozen most of the time. The two predominant greenhouse gases are water vapor and carbon dioxide. You produce both of these gases when you exhale. Between 94½ and 96½ percent of atmospheric carbon dioxide comes from natural sources. Between 94 and 98 percent of the warming effect is due to ordinary water vapor, which comes from the oceans and lakes. Please note that volcanos produce more carbon dioxide than all the activities of man. So even if all industrial activity is outlawed (in order to "save the earth"), the volcanos will still keep pumping CO2 into the atmosphere, and the air will remain just as it is. Greenhouse gases form about 3% of the atmosphere by volume. They consist of varying amounts, (about 97%) of water vapour and clouds, with the remainder being gases like CO2, CH4, Ozone and N2O, of which carbon dioxide is the largest amount. Hence, CO2 constitutes about 0.039% of the atmosphere. While the minor gases are more effective as "greenhouse agents" than water vapour and clouds, the latter are overwhelming the effect by their sheer volume and, in the end, are thought to be responsible for 75% of the "Greenhouse effect". At current concentrations, a 3% change of water vapour in the atmosphere would have the same effect as a 100% change in CO2. Those attributing climate change to CO2 rarely mention these important facts. With China, India and other developing countries massively increasing their greenhouse gas emissions, EPA's actions would do nothing to reduce atmospheric CO2 levels. In fact, by 2013, China will emit twice as much carbon dioxide as the United States. The EPA regs would, however, put government in charge of our entire economy, sharply increase energy prices for every business and household, kill millions of jobs, ensure that net tax revenues never materialize, and hurt poor families most. The decline in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions provides a sharp contrast to global emission trends. In 2000, U.S. man-made emissions totaled 5.9 billion metric tons, while global man-made emissions totaled 23.7 billion metric tons. Accordingly, the United States accounted for 25 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions in 2000. By 2010, the most recent year for which EIA has global data, U.S. emissions fell to 5.6 billion metric tons, while global emissions rose to 31.8 billion metric tons. Accordingly, the United States accounted for just 18 percent of man made global carbon dioxide emissions in 2010. The EPA has proposed a carbon dioxide standard for new power plants. The EPA blames carbon dioxide and other human emitted greenhouse gases for an increase in global temperature during the past 100 years. Unfortunately, this action is yet another EPA regulation that is essentially all cost and no benefit. First, the EPA's incessant use of the words "pollutant" and "pollution" in reference to carbon dioxide is deceptive. In the press release announcing this regulation, the agency mentioned the words "carbon pollution" eight times. Yet, as you learn in middle school science, carbon dioxide plays a vital role in the environment and has no direct negative human health effects. Mr. Strauss wants you to think China, India, Russia, and other developing nations will follow the United States proposed regulations on CO2. Do you really think that China will follow our lead when China is expected to over take the US economy and become the next super power by replacing the U.S.? Many feel that changes in the sun's heat output can account for almost all the climate changes we see on both planets. Mars and Earth, for instance, have experienced periodic ice ages throughout their histories. By studying fluctuations in the warmth of the sun, we can see a pattern that fits with the ups and downs in climate we see on Earth and Mars. We need to consider the theory that solar cycles cause cooling and warming throughout our solar system. We do not have enough data to create regulations based on the CO2 hypothesis. We need to research the solar hypothesis before we create any new regulations.