Window Dressing Cap and Trade Won’t Make the Costs Go Away

Nicolas Loris /

Last year Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) rolled out a companion cap and trade bill to the Waxman-Markey version that passed in the House of Representatives. Boxer-Kerry was essentially dead on arrival so Senator Kerry went back to work, this time with Senators Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Although Senator Graham is urging his colleagues to slow down, Senators Kerry and Lieberman are trudging forward and have introduced the American Power Act – the latest big climate change bill. Subtitled, “A New Start for Clean American Power and a New Economy,” this bill fails when it comes to energy production and job creation. APA is a new climate bill that tells the same old story: corporate handouts that raise energy prices for years to come.

John Kerry made his sales pitch in The Hill today saying, “There’s a reason why people and American businesses that have always opposed and fought against previous legislation – quite successfully! – are standing behind this one.” It’s because they were offered a seat at the table leaving the rest of America to pick up the tab. Take the words of one major electricity CEO who said, “We don’t flinch from the charge that, yes, some of our motivation and enthusiasm comes from the fact that we should make money on it if it happens.” As the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Chris Horner stresses, the handouts will go to the businesses that won the lobbying battle while the costs will be passed onto the consumer. It’s no surprise “influence spending” is up 25 percent for the first quarter of 2010 compared to last year.