Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Here comes Cap & Trade
The governor dropped the Cap & Trade bill - Senate Bill 80.
It is a nightmare, just as expected. The bill itself is actually not all that long, despite the very complex nature of what it proposes to do. And that, too is a big problem.
Why is that a problem? Because what the bill does is essentially proclaim that there will be a Cap & Trade system to reduce Oregon's carbon dioxide emissions, and empowers the Environmental Quality Commission to design it and implement it by rule.
So we will have a new, unprecedented level of power in an unaccountable bureaucracy. You think the legislature and the lawmaking process is hard to influence? Try stopping an administrative rule promulgated by a team of bureaucrats. I've been through it many times.
Why will this be so bad for Oregon? It will be hugely expensive, directly in a higher cost of energy (with the money going both to the government and to large energy companies who have the political clout to game the system) and in reduced economic growth rates in Oregon.
They are essentially calling for a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions by the year 2020. Which basically means they want Oregon to use 40% less energy. The easy (and only technologically proven) way to make that happen is to be 40% less productive than we are now.
If you want to really get angry, go take a look at the blizzard of planning documents concocted by the Western Climate Initiative, which is the multi-state group behind this whole thing. Read some of those design drafts to get a sense of the breathtaking scale and scope of the intrusive bureaucracy they plan to foist on us.
And the whole point is to bleed money out of the economy in the form of a hidden energy tax, so the politicians can use it for all their sustainability initiatives.
I will be writing about this issue a lot in the weeks to come, because we can absolutely count on the newspapers in Oregon not bringing a lot of the truth about this to light. So stay tuned - this could be the most harmful initiative ever to come out of our government class in Oregon.