The Spectacle Blog

Industry Pushing Global Warming Tax

By on 6.1.10 | 10:20AM

From Politico's Morning Energy e-mail:

- During the congressional recess, advocates of a comprehensive energy bill plan to spend SEVERAL HUNDRED THOUSAND on radio ads opposing Sen. Lisa Murkowki's resolution [S.J.Res. 26], due for a vote June 10, seeking to rein in EPA's regulation authority on greenhouse gases. BOTH SIDES say this vote will be a crucial canary-in-the-coalmine on the vote for a broad energy [sic; that's the cap-n-trade and gas tax bill] bill - if she gets 55 votes, passage of a big bill becomes UNLIKELY.  The spots begin Wednesday, with these states/targets/sponsors: VA (Webb): Sierra Club; MO (McCaskill): Missouri Votes Conservation; ND (Conrad/Dorgan): League of Conservation Voters; AR (Pryor): League of Conservation Voters; IN (Bayh): League of Conservation Voters; MA (Brown): TBD; ME (Collins/Snowe): TBD

So now is a good time for the following reminder: Industry is lobbying to allow EPA to do this to us through the backdoor (even if the advocacy groups aren't all industry, but also greens including those that industry is propping up in this battle since the days that none other than Enron and BP invented carbon cap-n-trade...I was in the room with both scheming about how to make it happen, thirteen years ago this month).

Viewed slightly differently, because rent-seeking industry would prefer the Kerry-Lieberman legislation that even Kerry admits they helped write (to ensure those rents and that any costs are passed-through to the consumer as smoothly as possible), industry is lobbying to keep alive the false urgency declared by cynics in Congress as the reason "we must act!" and adopt cap-n-trade, or else that mean EPA will do something even worse.

A reasonable public servant would respond to this inanity by replying that we should just pass a one-liner taking away/affirming the lack of EPA's claimed authority to do so. Like the Murkowski resolution, which simply ensures deliberation. This agenda and campaign is nothing if not unreasonable, however, and would not survive a deliberate, reasoned debate. Hence the decade-plus of "we must act now!". Big. Red. Flag.

Relevant to this note in Politico is that Greenwire last week reported, buried in a story, that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has apparently succeeded in his publicly telegraphed effort to convince the US Chamber of Commerce and the American Petroleum Institute to not air ads against cap-n-trade. One can only assume they got something for that. And whatever it was would be by definition designed to come out of your pocket. Early betting is that it is revenues from the gas tax for projects they like.

It's too bad the BPs of the world and its allied groups are left with open field running to push their scheme. Unless, of course, you have email, a telephone, and/or a fax machine.

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