Preliminary Peek at the Kerry-Lieberman Carbon Rationing Scheme

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Died of asphyxiation because I ran out of carbon credits

The Green Hell blog (slogan: "How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them") has apparently laid hands on a preliminary analysis of the Kerry-Lieberman bill setting out their scheme for national carbon rationing. Dubbed the American Power Act, the bill sets out an overall cap on carbon dioxide emissions which falls to 17 percent below 2005 emissions by 2020, 53 percent by 2030, and eventually cuts emissions by 80 percent by 2050. The emissions permits would be auctioned off by the federal government subject to a gradually rising price floor and ceiling.

The bill divides the economy into three sectors, industry, electric power generation, and transportation. Besides transportatioon, the cap would apply only to facilities that emit 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually, about 7,500 factories and power plants. In order to reduce the sting of higher energy prices, the bill promises to rebate some of the auction revenues to consumers by reducing their bills from local electric utilities and eventually throught a direct rebate program.

The bill subsidizes nearly every sector of the energy production, including renewables, nuclear, coal, and gas, as well as subsidies to electrify transportation. The scheme also risks trade wars by setting up countervailing carbon tariffs against countries that do not tax their energy production. The actual provisions are not yet available, but this analysis initially looks like a bit of an improvement on the Rube Goldbergesque carbon rationing horror that the House of Representatives passed last summer.

More details to come when the bill is officially unveiled today. 

Hat tip to H&R commenter Eric Gisin.