Saturday, July 26, 2008

Western States Economic Suicide Pact

OK, here we go! The "Western Climate Initiative," has released its draft plan for the regional greenhouse gas cap and trade scheme.

Mark the date in history! Years from now, when the government bureaucracy that is charged with administering this disastrous program has reached its full-grown, intrusive, stifling maturity, we can all think back to the heady days when the planners and environmentalists and power-hungry politicians birthed this mutant monster.

You really have to go read the draft to understand just what they want to do to our economy and our way of life. The details are at once chilling and vague.

I'll take a run at describing it, half formed though it is:

The arbitrary goal has been set to reduce greenhouse gasses (GHG's) by 15% under 2005 levels by the year 2020. There isn't anywhere I could find any estimate of the benefit of doing this. They say their goal is to reduce gasses enough to "significantly lower the risk of dangerous threats to the climate," which they say will actually require reductions in CO2 by 50-85% by the year 2050.

OK, stop right there. Here they are proposing a huge new tax, a huge new government program, and there is only the most vaguely formed rationale for any way it will benefit us. The documents basically assume that CO2 reduction is obviously good in and of itself, no real reason necessary to propose draconian limits on energy use to justify it.

Moving forward:

Together, the "Partner" states and provinces (OR, WA, CA, NM, MT, UT are the states) will estimate their actual emissions of the greenhouse gasses (GHG's) they plan to regulate, and this will be the "cap" in the first year of the program, 2012.

So the governments will have to try to measure the GHG's emitted by every manufacturing plant, commercial facility, the transportation sector, residential, electrical generation plants, cogeneration plants, etc. So starts the bureaucracy. Obviously the only way to do this is to mandate some system for monitoring and reporting by all the regulated entities.

Since these initial levels become the first "cap," and each of the regulated entities knows that their own baseline measure will also become their cap level upon which all future reductions are based, and since the method for actually measuring and monitoring the carbon footprint of all these different entities is subjective at best, there is plentiful opportunity and incentive for game playing, political deal cutting, and what economists call "rent-seeking."

So, once this baseline cap is set, every three years there will be a ratcheting down of the cap in a straight line until the 15% reduction is met by 2020.

Now for the "trade" part of the scheme. This is where it gets pretty funny, because they studiously avoid admitting that the scheme is basically a hidden tax on energy use, but they make all sorts of vague references to how they will use all the money they collect, because that is the point of the whole exercise in the first place.

Each state, after taking its baseline reads, will grant "allowances" to each regulated entity. This is their GHG cap. They left open to each state whether these allowances are just given to the regulated entity, or if they are 'auctioned" (read: taxed.)

This is where all the shenanigans will come. Here's the deal: the state is proposing a ubiquitous tax on every consumer and producer of energy. All these industries and firms aren't going to just sit back and bear the brunt of the new tax. But they DO see the train coming down the track.

So every single one of them are going to use their political influence to make sure the train hits the other guy, or even to manipulate the structure of the program so that they actually make money on the deal!

For instance: the timber guys will try to get tree planting programs approved as carbon sink offset programs, so regulated entities can pay them to plant trees rather than buy carbon credits on the market. But the bureaucrats know that they can't allow ALL the potential revenue to go to offset programs - they want their money! - so they will negotiate precisely how much of the carbon reduction goals can be met by carbon sinks, and how much by purchasing credits.

Yep - there it is, section 9.2 - an arbitrary limit on offsets, which they will probably set at 10%. How did I know?! Every other industry and company will be in the game, too, and there are limitless ways those with political influence can lessen the impact on themselves and push it over to the other guy.

Now, as I said, the point of this whole exercise is for the governments involved to tax energy so they can funnel the money to all their friends for the plethora of environmental and sustainability projects. But they have to strike a balance.

As I said, each state gets to decide what percentage of the "allowances" are 'auctioned" and what percentage are "granted." Essentially, this is a way to pay off the various industries so they go along. The question is basically how much wealth will be transferred from consumers to government, and how much from consumers to industry. The plan leaves that up to each state, but they are trying to decide on a "minimum percentage of allowances subject to auction by each state."

This is how they talk. "subject to auction" means TAXED. When they say "allowances" that means "how much energy we will let you use." When the talk about "the value of each partner's allowance budget," they mean "how much tax money is raised by forcing regulated entities to purchase the carbon credits."

And oh, do they have big plans for that money! :
  • Energy efficiency and renewable energy incentives and achievement;
  • Research, development, demonstrations and deployment (RDD&D) with
    particular reference to carbon capture & sequestration (CCS);
  • renewable energy generation, transmission and storage; and energy efficiency;
  • Promoting emission reductions and sequestration in agriculture and
    forestry and other uncapped sources;
  • Reducing consumer impacts, especially for low-income consumers;
  • Providing for worker transition and green jobs;
  • Providing transition assistance to industries;
  • Adaptation to climate change impacts;
  • Recognizing early actions to reduce emissions; and
  • Promoting economic efficiency.
Nowhere is there any talk of how much tax money will be raised through this scheme. Imagine! They are proposing a monumental tax on energy to supposedly save us from global warming. But nowhere do they: 1) estimate the actual benefit in terms of how much global warming will be reduced, or 2) tell us how much we are going to pay!

Of course, the crack journalists at our daily so-called newspaper can be counted on to drill down and ask the tough questions, right? (Insert belly laugh here.)

Yeah right - here is what The Funny Paper reported, in their single article, buried in the business section, had to say about the cost:

"State officials who unveiled the approach in Gov. Ted Kulongoski's offices said the draft strategy's mandates may push power rates and fuel prices up slightly. But Oregonians should see lower bills in the end because the strategy promotes conservation measures that should reduce energy use, they said. "

OK then! Who could possibly need any more than that? The bureaucrats say this will actually SAVE us money! No need for any other opinion on it. Good enough for us!

OK, I am running out of time here - I have to catch a baseball game. I'll probably drill down more on this later. I hope everyone can see, however, what a monstrosity this will quickly grow into.

A huge tax increase, the amount of which they will not estimate, with no pretense of even estimating how much or whether the tax would solve the problem that they claim requires the tax.

Madness!

10 comments:

Jim Karlock said...

This is the progressives' formal declaration of war on the poor and middle income.

May they rot in hell with their fellow travelers, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Castro and Gore.

But they probably think its all worth it to get us to use Trimeth's energy wasting, CO2 emitting non-service that will probably get a pass.

Thanks
JK

David Appell said...

> The documents basically assume that > CO2 reduction is obviously good in > and of itself, no real reason
> necessary to propose draconian
> limits on energy use to justify it.

Have you been living in a cave for the last 10 years? Science has firmly established that CO2 is the most dangerous of a group of greenhouse gases that are warming our planet, and could well warm it considerably more in future decades.

That will affect all aspects of economic life, including our ability to harvest crops and trees and fish.

What is the cost of *not* reducing greenhouse gases? You don't even think to ask.

Jim Karklock said...

David Appell: Have you been living in a cave for the last 10 years? Science has firmly established that CO2 is the most dangerous of a group of greenhouse gases that are warming our planet, and could well warm it considerably more in future decades.
JK: Hey David, We are all still waiting for your proof in the form of a few peer-reviewed papers that prove that CO2 really is a dangerous gas at today’s levels. Absent that proof you have no case that man is causing any harm what so ever and no excuse to hurt millions of people with your grand scheme to destroy the middle class.

You might want to review what your main source of climate lies had to admit.
The web site dedicated to defending Al Gore’s fraudulent “hockey stick” temperature curve, run by a NASA associate of famous loud mouth warmer, Jim Hansen (the guy who, twenty years ago, told congress that we had to deal with the warming problem. The climate is now cooler than the year when he testified.):

Realclimate.org/index.php?p=13 :
This is an issue that is often misunderstood in the public sphere and media, so it is worth spending some time to explain it and clarify it. At least three careful ice core studies have shown that CO2 starts to rise about 800 years (600-1000 years) after Antarctic temperature during glacial terminations. These terminations are pronounced warming periods that mark the ends of the ice ages that happen every 100,000 years or so.

Does this prove that CO2 doesn't cause global warming? The answer is no.

The reason has to do with the fact that the warmings take about 5000 years to be complete. The lag is only 800 years. All that the lag shows is that CO2 did not cause the first 800 years of warming, out of the 5000 year trend. The other 4200 years of warming could in fact have been caused by CO2, as far as we can tell from this ice core data. (bold added)

Let me point out the key points here:
1. They admit that CO2 did not cause warming:
CO2 starts to rise about 800 years (600-1000 years) after Antarctic temperature

2. The only other relevant statement is their petty laughable attempt to cover up the above devastating fact:
The other 4200 years of warming could in fact have been caused by CO2
Well yes, it “could in fact have been caused by CO2"
Or it “could in fact have been caused by” a magic spell cast by the forest people.
Or it “could in fact have been caused by” whatever started the initial warming simply continuing.

Which is most rational?

So, David, please cough up that peer-reviewed proof that CO2 really is a dangerous greenhouse gas at the current CO2 levels. Or quit pestering us with you unproven speculation.

Thanks
JK

I am Coyote said...

David Appell,
Oh stop your lying. OK?

Remember over on my blog you actually questioned the assertion that the global warming moonbats wanted to force their beliefs on everyone else and control the world?

Remember how you asked for people to prove it?

Remember how Max gave you two simple examples (ethenol, flourescent lights) and you simply blew them off?

Well now... Now let's just add this to the mix and ask you to shut your mouth.

OK?

Jim Karklock said...

Just for fun here are NINE errors that a British court found in Al Gore's SciFi movie:

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
Before : MR JUSTICE BURTON
.....
All these 9 'errors' that I now address are not put in the context of the evidence of Professor Carter and the Claimant's case, but by reference to the IPCC report and the evidence of Dr Stott.

The 'Errors'
1. 'Error' 11: Sea level rise of up to 20 feet (7 metres) will be caused by melting of either West
Antarctica or Greenland in the near future.

2. 'Error' 12: Low lying inhabited Pacific atolls are being inundated because of anthropogenic
global warming.

3. 'Error' 18: Shutting down of the "Ocean Conveyor".

4. 'Error' 3: Direct coincidence between rise in CO2 in the atmosphere and in temperature, by
reference to two graphs.

5. 'Error' 14: The snows of Kilimanjaro.

6. 'Error' 16: Lake Chad etc

7. 'Error' 8: Hurricane Katrina.

8. 'Error' 15: Death of polar bears.

9. 'Error' 13: Coral reefs.

Errors are from: cpi.cam.ac.uk/gore/pdf/Al%20Gore%20ruling%20-%2010%20Oct.pdf

MAX Redline said...

David, you never quite got around to addressing these little points during our last round of what passes for discussion, and I'm sure that was purely an oversight on your part:

1. The greenhouse signature is missing. We have been looking and measuring for years, and cannot find it.

2. There is no evidence to support the idea that carbon emissions cause significant global warming. None. There is plenty of evidence that global warming has occurred, and theory suggests that carbon emissions should raise temperatures (though by how much is hotly disputed) but there are no observations by anyone that implicate carbon emissions as a significant cause of the recent global warming.

3. The satellites that measure the world's temperature all say that the warming trend ended in 2001, and that the temperature has dropped about 0.6C in the past year (to the temperature of 1980).

4. The new ice cores show that in the past six global warmings over the past half a million years, the temperature rises occurred on average 800 years before the accompanying rise in atmospheric carbon. Which says something important about which was cause and which was effect.

The world has spent $50 billion on global warming since 1990, and we have not found any actual evidence that carbon emissions cause global warming


Unfortunately, the long-term trend, which is what really matters here, is starting to work against adherents to the Religion of AGW.

I look forward to your critique of the total lack of scientific understanding evident in the above statements by Evans.

By the way, David, your statement Science has firmly established that CO2 is the most dangerous of a group of greenhouse gases that are warming our planet, and could well warm it considerably more in future decades. is, as I'm sure you're aware, complete BS. Of course, we've been over the numbers, percentages, and relative capacities before.

Yet everywhere you go, you insist upon dredging up the same old mythology and presenting it as fact.

How many places do you need to go trash your own credibility before you stop trolling blogs?




After all, he only wrote the carbon accounting model (FullCAM) that measures Australia's compliance with the Kyoto Protocol, in the land use change and forestry sector.

FullCAM models carbon flows in plants, mulch, debris, soils and agricultural products, using inputs such as climate data, plant physiology and satellite data.


Jump right on in, David. We all breathlessly await your learned enlightenment.

Anonymous said...

This is amazing to watch the alarmist fool David find new ways to say the same farce.

"Science has firmly established that CO2 is the most dangerous of a group of greenhouse gases that are warming our planet, and could well warm it considerably more in future decades."

The various groups David likes to place at the alter are doing the same thing. Re-packaging old IPCC assumtions and adding urgency rhetoric to make them sound fresh and even more believable.


"Science has firmly established"???

Ha!

David, you need oxygen. The CO2 is poluting YOU.

"Science" has done no such thing.

Any more than the Portland Office of Sustainable Development's
"report" showed that Portland had shown the city had reduced it's CO2emission to 1991 levels.
The fraud your religion has perpetrated on a wide front is coming home to roost.

Your declaring the "debate over" by rephrasing it as "science has firmly established" is laughable.

The debate was never over, science doesn't follow consensus, especially contrived consesus, and you could not be a bigger, loud mouthed fool.

OregonGuy said...

Mr. Afpel,

It's carbon monoxide that is dangerous. Read a book.

Carbon dioxide is a beneficial gas that promotes plant growth.

.

Jim Karklock said...

JK: Hey, David, I’m still waiting for all those peer-reviewed papers proving that CO2 increases from the present can cause dangerous warming.

Thanks
JK

Jim Karklock said...

JK: Hey, David, another week has gone by and I’m still waiting for all those peer-reviewed papers proving that CO2 increases from the present can cause dangerous warming.

Thanks
JK

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 2:10:00 PM