Copies of the Kerry/Lieberman/Graham/Not Graham carbon-cappin’, ratepayer-screwin’ bill are circulating via email in advance of its formal introduction tomorrow, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute offered a preview this afternoon:
Senator (John) Kerry has admitted that the bill was written in close consultation with the companies and industries to be regulated, including the Edison Electric Institute and major oil companies. Kerry recently remarked “Ironically, we’ve been working very closely with some of these oil companies in the last months,” referring to BP, Conoco Phillips, and Shell. This process could only be considered “ironic” by someone unacquainted with the history of special interest lobbying in Washington, D.C.
“Cap and trade regulation, far from disciplining the energy sector, is poised to become one of the greatest wealth transfers from consumers to private corporations in the nation’s history,” said (CEI’s Myron) Ebell. “General Electric, Exelon, BP, Goldman Sachs, and Duke Energy will make out like bandits because of provisions they have written. That’s not democracy or capitalism. It’s political corruption and crony capitalism.”
As public awareness of what cap and trade would cost American consumers has grown, the bill’s sponsors have responded not by amending their proposals, but by trying to fool the public with shifting terminology. Senator Kerry at one point renamed gasoline taxes “linked fees.” Sen. (Joseph) Lieberman remarked in April he was dropping the phrase “cap and trade” in favor of “emissions reduction targets,” going so far as to joke about the in-name-only difference by asking a reporter “Remember the Artist Previously Known as Prince?”
Remember the crisis formerly known as global warming?