The Spectacle Blog

More Cap-n-Trade Sleaze

By on 9.10.10 | 2:06PM

My Congressman, Tom Periello (D-VA), has through television ads and interviews just doubled down on what has already been extremely curious advocacy in support of his vote for cap-and-trade, a major component of his representation of San Francisco from a Central Virginia congressional district.

This morning on a radio show I heard him say that cap-and-trade would actually lower some peoples' electricity bills "in the near-term" -- part of his push to brand his Republican opponent a scoundrel for outrageously voting for something that created the "opportunity" (Periello's word) for an electricity rate increase.

This outcome is thanks to "rebates", apparently. Giving Periello the benefit of the doubt I assume this is some tortured telling of the notion that some people would get an abatement of some portion of their economic pain (this will increase the cost of everything) because the House bill does create a new entitlement transferring wealth from the upper and middle class to the very lowest rungs on the ladder. Unfortunately, that means it hurts an awful lot of people to facilitate a claim that is still too clever by half.

But, yes, that's in the House bill. As is two years of assistance for people who lose their job because of the House bill. That went untouched by the hosts, the same ones who previously let him get away with saying India and China have already passed such legislation.

The other bit, the "near-term" business, is probably explained by the bill's assumption that, well, you're greedy, you'll invent cheap flying cars and Flubber if we make the cost of real energy that works, um, "necessarily skyrocket". But decades of $8 gas and windmill mandates hasn't done so in Europe; here, we will only re-prove that you cannot legislate technological breakthroughs.

The scheme to which he goes to such insulting depths to defend wouldn't do a thing for emissions -- no one claims it will have a climatic effect -- unless it causes electricity rates to skyrocket. In fact, that's "necessary". Even our president and Treasury Secretary say so.

So where to begin with such disingenuousness or remarkably uninformed Member of Congress?

How about "Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket". Watch it.

"Necessary"? "[N]ecessary if you're going to change how people use energy." -Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. By that he means, how much you use. Again, tax hikes don't cause the laws of physics to cry "Uncle!"

So, Tom, is the president lying? Is he saying you are? Inquiring constituents want to know.

"...This would also raise billions of dollars." Again Barack Obama January 2008.

Cap and trade is "the most significant revenue-generating proposal of our time." Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD). To the Washington Post in April 2009.

But don't worry. Somehow, it won't cost anything. Because they've shuffled how the ration coupons are allocated.

"Regardless of how allowances were distributed, most of the cost of meeting a cap on CO2 emissions would be borne by consumers, who would face persistently higher prices for products such as electricity and gasoline... regressive in that poorer households would bear a larger burden relative to their income than wealthier households would." CBO April 2007 under Peter Orszag, later Obama's OMB chief

"Whether you call it a tax, everyone agrees that it's going to increase the cost to the consumer." - Longtime Ways & Means Chairman Charlie Rangel

Congressman Periello, you are at best a terribly misinformed Member of Congress. Unfortunately, with your history of misinforming constituents on this very subject I think it's worse than just being poorly staffed. You do seem willing to say anything to support the agenda you share with Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama even though those whom you represent do not support it.

I am deeply troubled that your opponent is an establishment-annointed tax-raiser who will be the very first Republican to lose his way when that moment comes. If in office now he probably would have supported cap-n-trade, too, like many of the other current, vocal opponents who would be singing a different tune if John McCain won the election. I understand that. Politics is sleazy. But it doesn't mean you have to make it so much worse. Shame on you.

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