Cap-and-Trade Dead?


Cap'n Trade image

According to the New York Times, President Barack Obama admitted yesterday that the cap-and-trade carbon rationing scheme that aims to cut the emissions of greenhouse gases that are thought to be contributing to the problem of man-made global warming is likely dead for this session of Congress:

President Obama acknowledged yesterday that the Senate may pass an energy bill this year without the cap-and-trade component he has long put at the center of his environmental agenda.

Speaking at a town hall meeting in Nashua, N.H., Obama repeated his call for a price on greenhouse gas emissions but said he recognized that such an approach may not have the votes to make it into law.

"The only thing I would say about it is this: We may be able to separate these things out," Obama said. "And it's conceivable that that's where the Senate ends up. But the concept of incentivizing clean energy so that it's the cheaper, more effective kind of energy is one that is proven to work and is actually a market-based approach."

Senate moderates from both parties are pushing Obama to accept an energy-only approach without putting a price on carbon emissions the way the House-passed bill (H.R. 2454 (pdf)) does, including Agriculture Chairwoman Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), and Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Judd Gregg (R-N.H.).

"I think cap and trade has a long road here obviously," Gregg said yesterday. "And there's a lot of good initiatives on energy policy that are on a shorter track and will hopefully be pursued aggressively.

"I think it's more logical to focus on those things we can do in the short term," Gregg added…

Going for an energy bill alone, Obama said, is equal to saying, "let's do the fun stuff before we do the hard stuff."

The president is right about an energy-only bill. Of course, Gregg and other Congresscritters prefer the pleasure of handing out tens of billions in subsidies and R&D funding to favored groups and companies without having to endure the political pain that would come from increasing their constituents' energy bills under cap-and-trade.

On the diplomatic front, it will be interesting to see what happens to international climate change negotiations if the U.S. does not adopt the 17 percent cut in greenhouse gas emssions below 2005 levels by 2020 that the Obama administration just submitted as its Copenhagen Accord target.

Whole New York Times article can be found here.

NEXT: 3 Reasons Not to Sweat Citizens United

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  1. Wormer, he’s a dead man! Marmalard, dead! Niedermeyer…dead! Card check, it’s a dead bill! Healthcare reform, dead! Cap-and-trade, dead!

    1. Did we surrender when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell, no!

      1. He’s on a roll

  2. Imagine how much the liberals could have gotten done if they were as smart and competent as they think they are.

    1. I imagine, and I shudder.

    2. If they were as smart and competent as they think they are, they wouldn’t have tried in the first place.

  3. “But the concept of incentivizing clean energy so that it’s the cheaper, more effective kind of energy is one that is proven to work and is actually a market-based approach.”

    Good lord- he has even less of a clue of what “market-based” means than he does “investment”.

    1. Listen you, I am the historic president, and smartest man ever to hold this job, as well as the best writer! Words mean what I decide they mean!

    2. Something that is “market based” is note necessarily “free market based.” Cap and trade is market based… its sets a price on carbon and allows partcipants to trade the permits, as opposed to regulatory mandates. However, the fact that there is a market set up for carbon does not mean the policy is a free market.

  4. Fresh Air had a piece on Cap-n-trade last week. Despite the guy being interviewed being a major proponent of it and Teri Gross lobbing fuzzy softballs at him; it was still painfully obvious that the whole scheme is nothing more than a huge give away to bankers and will most likely result in an economic bubble that when popped will make the housing bubble look like a tiny pin prick.

  5. “… more effective kind of energy is one that is proven to work and is actually a market-based approach.”

    we can all agree, at this point, that “market-based approach” is a code phrase for totally not market-based, right?

    1. I came in here to say this. If they really truly believe that subsidies are a “market-based approach” then that explains a lot. Of course, they probably don’t actually believe that, and are simply applying a feel-good term and hope that nobody notices they are trying to slap a lollipop label on a giant turd.

      As Dean Wormer said in a different movie, “Don’t piss on my boots and tell me it’s raining.”

      1. The wisdom of Dean Wormer cannot be denied.

  6. So let’s see…what has this administration actually succeeded in achieving other than…well, anything?

    Oh joe, I wish you were here, because your frustration and impotence would be so yummy and sweet.

    1. RACIST!!!

    2. He got the Winter Olympics to Canada. So there’s that.

  7. polynikes and healscarequotes totally scooped me on the “market-based” meme

  8. Not only is Cap-&-Trade not dead; healthcare’s not even dead!

  9. by the way, anyone know why I sometimes can’t see posters “handles”? It’s obvious others can, because they are calling each other by “name”

    1. Your training is not complete, grasshopper. When you can snatch the pebble from SugarFree’s hand . . . then you are ready.

      1. There is no pebble

        1. That’s for the spoon. The pebble is all to real . . .

        2. So close to wisdom you are, young Episiarch, yet so far.

          There is no hand. In fact, there is no there.

          1. “It is true, that which I have revealed to you; there is no God, no universe, no human race, no earthly life, no heaven, no hell. It is all a dream – a grotesque and foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought – a vagrant thought, a useless thought, a homeless thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities!”

            He vanished, and left me appalled; for I knew, and realized, that all he had said was true.

          2. There is no ProL

            1. Wrong yet again! Only when you understand that there is no Episiarch will you take the first small step towards wisdom.

              No ProL. How ludicrous. Here I am thinking and being and refuting your silly statement thus [Engages in some silly statement repudiation off thread.] Really, are there no good, young philosophers these days?

              1. Your denial will make your eventual realization all that much more painful, non-being.

                1. My mistake is in arguing with figments of my single, sole consciousness in the first place. The illusion of others can be so compelling at times.

                  1. Ridiculous. I am the only real person in existence on these here webs. All others are merely extensions of my drifting mind as I contemplate my next thought.

                    1. Talking solipsism in a blog thread may be the definition of irony. Even accepting reality, whether any of you exist as independent beings is always a question. For instance, it has been suggested before that Episiarch is SugarFree. Or is it the reverse? I need to go review my notes. And, of course, the better example is the collection of sock puppets we’ve gathered here.

                    2. If anybody is anybody, he’s me. I’M CAPTAIN KIRK!!!!!

                    3. Does that mean Epi’s alter ego is also Steve Smith!


                    4. They do both live in the Pacific Northwest…

                    5. Even SugarFree has his doubts about Epi! And Epi is that monstrous creature known as a guido! The evidence is stacking up.

                      Note to self: To minimize sasquatch rape, never visit Seattle.

                    6. Epi is a shadowy figure, but then that is his allure.

                    7. That’s impossible. Shatner is Canadian.

                  2. I uttered something along these lines to my dad when I was 15 or so. His reply: “That’s the stupidest fucking thing I’ve ever heard.”

                    He was right.

                    1. Did he smack you?

                    2. You fool, proto-Pro Lib! Epi and SugarFree are two different minds. Though they do inhabit the same body of . . . Chris Kelly.

                    3. Nah. I was basically saying “I can’t really know anything before my time ever really happened/existed.” It was the kind of philosophical statement that you’d expect someone who’d been shot at in the military and whose first wife died in a car accident might not appreciate. The verbal beatdown was sufficient.

                    4. The best way to counter extreme skepticism or solipsism in person is to bitch slap the reality-doubter while saying, “I refute you thus.”

                    5. Dr. Johnson merely stubbed his toe but I like your style.

                    6. Smacking podiums and books seems rather pointless to me. Make the doubter feel the falsity of his statement through the proper application of scholarly force.

    2. I have that problem with IE on my work computer. There may be another way but I’ve found the only thing that works is closing and reopening the browser window.

      I have no problem when I use Firefox on my computer at home.

  10. Imagine how much the liberals could have gotten done if they were as smart and competent as they think they are.

    They still have huge majorities. They can do whatever they want, if voters don’t think it’s totally fucking crazy. But everything they want to do inspires a huge backlash.

    Everything they put a name to and try to sell, that is. Their untitled quest to inflate the state beyond precedent and their unnamed Wilson-style permanent-war-economy corporatization plan are going just fine.

    Someone up there is smart. If enough of that nameless shit gets done, future backlashes won’t be possible. Unless they’re totally fucking crazy.

  11. “let’s do the fun stuff before we do the hard stuff” Brilliant!

  12. Stone the hand from my snatch, grasshopper.

  13. After junk science is removed from the bill, only pure corruption is left.

  14. One can only hope that the planned 9-figure give-away to “clean energy” gets tagged as “just can’t afford it, darn it, due to those deficits Bush ran up.”

  15. and to think if Kennedy hadn’t of died all these bills would have come to pass.

    1. Thanks Ted.

      I hope they let you out of the sinking Buick to stretch your legs every millennia or so.

      1. So how long has it been since Teddy’s had a drink? He nust be shaking like…like nothing that’s shaken before.

        1. And as warm as he must be, he’s gotta be hella thirsty.

        2. I can only assume that hell is located somewhere beneath Port Au Prince

  16. “But the concept of incentivizing clean energy so that it’s the cheaper, more effective kind of energy is one that is proven to work and is actually a market-based approach.”

    Yes; and sending somebody to cripple the quarterback of a college football team because you want to win a lot of money betting against them is a market based approach.

  17. Hey, it wins us a lot of games too!

    1. Well, it used to when you were a competent recruiter. Enjoy you’re retirement.

  18. Step 1. Make cheap energy really really expensive.

    Step 2. Switch to just really expensive energy.

    Step 3. Get rich from all the money you save from going to Step 2.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  19. The removal of the carbon trading element would be about the only positive development in the debate on the energy bill.

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