Waxman bribes Mr. Gene Green? – private deal “allowances” if Dems will vote for cap and trade bill

It seems our future is being bargained away for a few pieces of silver as this passage from the article indicates. Those of you that have an interest in this, now is the time to write and call your U.S. representative. – Anthony

While Shimkus acknowledged that closed-door negotiating was “just a way of doing business” in Congress, he said offering emission allowances for votes may take the process beyond ethical boundaries.

From the Washington Examiner: To get votes, Waxman offers cap-and-trade breaks

By: Susan Ferrechio

Chief Congressional Correspondent

04/23/09

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., has led efforts to entice votes for the Democratic energy bill by giving some oil refineries favorite treatment in the cap and trade system.

In exchange for votes to pass a controversial global warming package, Democratic leaders are offering some lawmakers generous emission “allowances” to protect their districts from the economic pain of pollution restrictions.

Rep. Gene Green, D-Texas, represents a district with several oil refineries, a huge source of greenhouse gas emissions. He also serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which must approve the global warming plan backed by President Barack Obama.

Green says Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., who heads the panel, is trying to entice him into voting for the bill by giving some refineries favorable treatment in the administration’s “cap and trade” system, which is expected to generate hundreds of billions of dollars over the coming years. Under the plan, companies would pay for the right to emit carbon dioxide, but Green and other lawmakers are angling to get a free pass for refineries in their districts.

“We’ve been talking,” Green said, referring to a meeting he had with Waxman on Tuesday night. “To put together a bill that passes, they have to get our votes, and I’m not going to vote for a bill without refinery allowances.”

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, the top Republican on the energy panel, said Waxman and others are also dangling allowances for steel and coal-fired power plants to give political cover to Democrats whose districts rely on these companies.

Democrats so far have been unable to get enough support from their own members to pass the bill out of a small global warming subcommittee because most Republicans and many Democrats say the plan will raise energy rates, destroy jobs and increase prices on manufactured goods.

Republicans said Waxman and subcommittee chairman Ed Markey, D-Mass., are calling Democrats into their offices and offering allowances, also called credits, in exchange for votes.

Waxman told The Examiner he was not trading votes for allowances.

“That is what the Republicans are saying, but that is not accurate,” he said. The bill left out specifics on allowances “in order to be able to have discussions on how best to ease the transition for various geographical regions and ratepayers.”

“I will politely disagree,” said energy committee member John Shimkus, R-Ill., who insisted Waxman “is calling members into his office to try to get their vote, and that will be based on the credits they are offering.”

While Shimkus acknowledged that closed-door negotiating was “just a way of doing business” in Congress, he said offering emission allowances for votes may take the process beyond ethical boundaries.

“We are talking real dollars here, real shareholder wealth,” Shimkus said, “and we are not being given the time to analyze these credits.”

Environmentalists and free-market advocates say the credits will favor struggling, out-of-date operations.

“We are going to have electricity that is dirtier because the allowances are going to be misallocated,” said Robert Michaels, an economics professor at California State University and senior fellow for the Institute for Energy Research.

Read the full article here (h/t to Ron de Haan

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87 thoughts on “Waxman bribes Mr. Gene Green? – private deal “allowances” if Dems will vote for cap and trade bill

  1. Why doesn’t Waxman ask his constituents if they want a Cap & Trade bill? Waxman is offering a pittance, in return for obligating taxpayers to pay hefty new taxes forever.
    Bad deal.

  2. Politics and special influence to “save the planet”.

    Sounds like a Congressional scandal in the making.

    When it comes to “saving the planet” some are more equal than others”.

  3. I can’t remember who, but someone said this program will be a massive transfer of wealth to the politically connected from the politically non-connected. Whoever said that looks pretty smart right now.

  4. Smokey—

    Waxman’s constituents live in Beverly Hills and environs. They want CO2 emissions control, and Cap and Trade won’t bother them. They have supported his radical environmental views for years, and continue to re-elect him.

  5. It is typical for third world countries to have a high level of corruption which starts at the very top of the Government.

    We are doing well in the USA.

    Just a few months to go and we can get the original Third World Country Certificate.

    It looks very nice.

    It carries a beautiful banana at the left side of the letter head followed by the word
    REPUBLIC!

    Quite an achievement don’t you think.

  6. I wonder when the true environmentalist AGW believers are going to figure out how badly they were duped into pushing this agenda ??

    Jim Hansen’s got it figured out, with his accurate comments about zero carbon dioxide molecules coming out of the atmosphere from the European “schemes”.

    I guess they never included him in the real agenda. It almost makes me believe that he’s sincere, and outside the circle-of-trust – one of the politically “thinks-he-was connected”.

    The Catlin stooges also come to mind ….

    … did they get to go for a swim yet ??

  7. The latest rant by Revkin in the NYT features Monbiot and Santer… and suggests the media is giving too much attention to those who try to cast a doubt on IPCC… Really since the NYT or the Globe and Mail or any other major newspaper I know virtually never chose an environmental story without AGW and its fearmongering, I really wonder where can any interested reader can read anything non alarmist in mainstream media? Any idea? These guys must be frustrated that despite their omnipresence, despite their constant pounding, the public does not believe them…

  8. All these young people have no idea what their advocacy
    is going to do to their families. They better remove all the
    bumper stickers from their cars!

  9. Wouldn’t you think that this type of favoritism for political votes would open up the legislation to legal challenge for equal protection under the law? It only puts those that don’t “pay to play” at a competitive disadvantage vs. those willing to sell their votes.

    One of Waxman’s truly dopey statement came from an interview with Tavis Smiley recently:

    “We’re seeing the reality of a lot of the North Pole starting to evaporate, and we could get to a tipping point. Because if it evaporates to a certain point – they have lanes now where ships can go that couldn’t ever sail through before. And if it gets to a point where it evaporates too much, there’s a lot of tundra that’s being held down by that ice cap.”

    For the a scary view of who’s running our legislation, you can see and read the full interview here:

    http://www.pbs.org/kcet/tavissmiley/archive/200904/20090413_waxman.html

    This guy isn’t from Mars, he’s from Pluto

  10. I know I’m exposing the Inner Geek in myself by posting a Spock Quote, but this one is pretty good. People like Rep Waxman want the power of Cap’n Trade SO BADLY, well…

    SPOCK: “After a time, you may find that having is not so
    pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical; but
    it is often true.”

    Andrew

  11. “On the international level, the meeting in Copenhagen at the end of the year is incredibly important, it will lay down the road map on how we tackle climate change and who gets to be involved,” said Sam Johnston of Tokyo, Japan-based United Nations University, a co-sponsor of the summit.

    “Climate change poses threats and dangers to the survival of indigenous communities worldwide, even though they contribute least to greenhouse emissions,” United Nations General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto said at the summit.

    Who gets to play? Who gets a free ride while others pay?
    Who actually believes they care about a few isolated Eskimo villages on the Alaskan seacoast at the expense of an entire nation?
    It nothing but a game for the dealers, who make up the rules as they go along. The Pubs are skeptical, as I am sure they have been briefed on the consequences when the climate turns 180 degrees out from AGW models.
    I’m off to the next WUWT topic, the Sun is far more important than these 24/7 shady deals.

  12. I sent this to Rep. Bob Inglis of SC:

    Dear Representative Inglis,

    This article in the Washington Examiner, ( http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/To-get-votes-Waxman-offers-cap-and-trade-breaks_04_24-43592342.html ) describes a sad, unethical process by which our future is being bargained away.

    I have serious issues with this, especially considering that a Climate Change skeptic was forbidden from testifying, and presenting a rather strong case that human induced catastrophic climate change may not be as certain as we are being led to believe by certain “experts”. Shutting down debate in the face of growing evidence that global warming has stalled defies the spirit of lawmaking, and is an outrage.

    Quoting the piece:

    “While Shimkus acknowledged that closed-door negotiating was “just a way of doing business” in Congress, he said offering emission allowances for votes may take the process beyond ethical boundaries.”

    Please do not support cap and trade unless there is some sort of means of making it “budget neutral”, as you have described in the past.

    Thank you for your consideration.

  13. Henry Waxman:

    “We’re seeing the reality of a lot of the North Pole starting to evaporate, and we could get to a tipping point. Because if it evaporates to a certain point – they have lanes now where ships can go that couldn’t ever sail through before. And if it gets to a point where it evaporates too much, there’s a lot of tundra that’s being held down by that ice cap.”

    That’s breathtakingly bad.

  14. Mark 0454:

    Glenn Reynolds had an entry relating to the “stimulus package” on January 23, 2009 and used the line “This is not so much a stimulus, as a massive transfer of wealth from the politically unconnected to the politically connected.”

    I don’t know if he was the first one to say it quite like this, but he probably was.

  15. Waxman bribes Mr. Gene Green but The Obama EPA plays ‘Dirty Harry’ on cap and trade. Do you feel lucky? is the question Dirty Harry asked before he used his gun.

    I should say forget about these politics, let EPA try to establish regulation through the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act and “GO TO COURT”, GO INTO THE STREETS, ORGANIZE TEA PARTIES AND GET RID OF THESE CRIMINALS ASAP.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124052921804450391.html

  16. Interesting that Anthony employed the word bribe. I had just done so elsewhere. part of my response was….

    Essentially bribing members with help for their district, the members then voting for legislation that they know in their heart is bad-dangerous-destructive to the nation as a whole.

    NONE of this has anything to do with the climate or alternative energy. It is all about politics, power, and money.

    Dem Congressman Dingle: ‘Nobody in This Country Realizes That Cap-and-Trade is a Tax’

    Pelosi: Speaking to Bay Area reporters, Pelosi insisted she plans to hold a floor vote on a cap-and-trade bill before diplomats gather Dec. 7-18 at a U.N. conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, to work toward a new international climate change agreement.

    “I believe we have to because we see that as a source of revenue,” Pelosi said, according to remarks published today in the San Francisco Chronicle. “Cap and trade is there for a reason.”

  17. John A (16:34:14) :

    Henry Waxman:

    “We’re seeing the reality of a lot of the North Pole starting to evaporate, and we could get to a tipping point. Because if it evaporates to a certain point – they have lanes now where ships can go that couldn’t ever sail through before. And if it gets to a point where it evaporates too much, there’s a lot of tundra that’s being held down by that ice cap.”

    That’s breathtakingly bad”.

    Yes, this Waxman guy is a real Genius.

    No wonder they did not allow Moncton to speak!

  18. “The bill left out specifics on allowances ‘in order to be able to have discussions on how best to ease the transition for various geographical regions and ratepayers.’”

    In other words, those that play ball and vote for the measure will be given favorable consideration when it comes time to pass out favors.

    It sounds just like a scene from Atlas Shrugged as various factions negotiate for favorable language in government directives.

  19. Those susceptible Dems better read Monckton’s letter. Michael Steele has mumbled about global cooling, and if the globe continues to cool(who here doubts that very much?) then this will be a potent issue in the coming year and a half.
    ===================================

  20. Is it me or does Waxman look like a Dr. Suess character? Was there climate change in Who-ville?

    Actually, maybe his persona is more of the evil Bond villian…

  21. This is the inevitable result of a big government. It is the nature of the beast to take over the peasants life.

    That is why the Constitution was written in an attempt to prevent big government.

    Pelosi, Reid , Hopey Changey and the rest don’t stack up so well compared to Washington, Jefferson and Franklin.

  22. We use to say in spanish something translated like “I have no candle in this burial” to mean I can not meddle into this issue, but, may I suggest that instead of “snip- ad hominem” wouldn´t be better “snip- ad bestiam”

  23. How long do you think Americans will take all this abuse by Government Officials?
    Here is Arnold Schwarzenegger telling people to stop air drying their laundry but in the mean time he takes to the air for a daily commute with his private jet.

    How do you like them apples?

    If you love flying and driving Hummers, don’t behave like a freaking hypocrite!
    The political elite in this country has forgotten to serve the people.
    They only serve themselves.

    http://www.climatedepot.com/a/459/Schwarzenegger-touts-airdrying-your-clothes-for-6-months-to-save-700-pounds-of-carbon-dioxide

    http://articles.latimes.com/2008/mar/07/local/me-arnold7

  24. I’d love to see them (EPA?) have their first auction and no one buys any allowances. None, nada, zip.

    This would be the CO2 emitters form of protest. They then either continue producing energy or products as usual and dare the EPA police to break down the door, or they all shrug like Atlas, and everything shuts down.

  25. Cut off their oil.

    Literally, we stop shipment of petroleum products across states lines out of Texas. Then, we exercise the secede option. (I’m really burned up on this issue …)

  26. *******ATTENTION*******

    Rather than just complaining about whats being shoved down your throat, why don’t you try to do something about it?

    There are currently two ways you can try to make a difference.

    The EPA is proposing to declare CO2 and six other gases as “dangerous pollutants”. Do you agree with this? The public comment period is NOW open. Have YOU commented yet? WHY NOT? Anthony presents all the information you need here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/20/making-your-opinion-on-co2-and-climate-change-known-to-the-epa/

    There is a second issue that may be under the radar of many. The Office of Science and Technology Policy has published a notice requesting public comment to be used to aid the drafting of recommendations for Presidential action to ensure scientific integrity in the executive branch as per Presidential Memorandum. In other words, President Obama wants to establish the standards for scientific integrity and how it affects public policy decision-making.

    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-9307.pdf

    Do you have an opinion on this? Well then, MAKE IT KNOWN.

    The comment period is now open and will be short, only 21 days. The comment period closes at 5 p.m. EDT May 13, 2009.
    Comments can be made here:

    http://blog.ostp.gov/2009/04/22/presidential-memo-on-scientific-integrity-request-for-comment/

    Visit the website, create a login, and GET ACTIVE.

    An interesting aspect of this process is that the public can vote upon (or even flag) the comments of others. I dunno how wise that is (I am thinking about the 2007 Weblog awards), but it IS interesting.

    I gotta tell you, if the climate alarmists win the day, it WILL be because of apathy within the climate realists. I am concerned that we are not doing enough, that the climate-alarmists are working harder than we are. Blog-whining will never amount to anything useful. PLEASE, GET BUSY. Don’t let this happen because you failed to act.

    Remember: He who fails to vote cannot complain about who gets elected.

  27. I believe it was Mark Twain who said Congress was the Nation’s only certifiable criminal class.

  28. Serendipitously, one of the cable networks this week has been broadcasting Dicken’s _Little Dorrit_. In the story, Dickens has created a fictional Office of Circumlocution, which, were he writing today, would likely employ a cadre of environmental alarmists:

    “…How to do it must obviously be regarded as the natural and mortal enemy of
    How not to do it. In this was to be found the basis of the wise system, by tooth and nail upheld by the Circumlocution Office, of warning every ingenious British subject to be ingenious at his peril: of harassing him, obstructing him, inviting robbers (by
    making his remedy uncertain, and expensive) to plunder him, and at the best of confiscating his property after a short term of enjoyment, as though invention were on a par with felony.”

  29. D. King (16:17:53) bumper stickers !

    Such as, “If I’m helping to pay your mortgage, Honk!”

  30. “I thought this was an autonomous collective” – Graham Chapman (if I am not mistaken)

  31. April 24, 2009
    Al Gore suggested that future generations will ask: What were they [us[ thinking? Why did they listen to “outlier quacks who got money from carbon polluters?”

    Trust me, nobody has given me one red cent for my skepticism. Gore & Hansen have personally subsidized all skepticism with thier debauchery of the truth. All I had to do was dig.
    There are only 2 data points I can personally offer:
    1.) The ocean I know of (the Pacific) has not risen by any margin I can detect.
    2.) It is terribly hard to detect the Tiny Tim sunspots that now rarely occasion the face of the sun. The last thing I saw was that big faulae on March 26th. Haven’t seen jack since. Last sunspot I saw was in January, and it took me 15 minutes to hunt down what I already knew was there.

  32. The sad part of “just a way of doing business” is that it is.

    How Congress operates. All the time.

    And when it cools down before the legislation passes, they will tell us it was all in anticipation of Carbon Cap & Trade. Global Warming knew it was done for and gave up.

    (the flying spaghetti monster told me so)

  33. John F. Hultquist (19:11:07) :
    D. King (16:17:53) bumper stickers !

    Such as, “If I’m helping to pay your mortgage, Honk!”

    My other car was sold to pay my carbon tax.
    My kid is EXACTLY as poor as your kid.
    If you can read this sticker, we’re both out of gas.
    Too Small To Succeed.

  34. Antonio San (15:56:59) : These guys must be frustrated that despite their omnipresence, despite their constant pounding, the public does not believe them…

    After a lifetime of promises and deceit from TV adverts, Joe and Jane Six Pack are not nearly as gullible as politicians think. J&J are somewhat disenfranchised and have a limited scope for attention (what with the job, the kids, etc.) so they let the politicians run free most of the time… But they don’t buy the Bull Puckey as much as “our leaders” think. They just ignore it. There is a hugh difference between apathy and endorsement.

    But when they get P.O.’d, watch out. Who was it who said “The Voters have spoken! (damn it.)”?

    So for now the AGW fad has the political machinery, but without adult supervision they are preparing to saw off some fingers with it. In 2 years, Mom and Dad J&J will give them a good spanking and send them to their room and ask them to think about fingers for a while… Maybe not ‘secure seats’ like Waxman, but certainly the party in swing states.

    And if the screw up is bad enough, heck, maybe even the party leadership… and Waxman.

    If they don’t?

    Then in another 2 years, after China and India have eaten our lunch with coal fired cheap power and a few more U.S. premier companies have washed through bankruptcy and the dollar will buy you a cup of coffee (Oops! Too late, its $3 now…) and it’s way too expensive to buy heating fuel in a record cold snowy year – even IF you still have a job; then you can rest assured that J&J will be out for blood…

    People are dense some times, and slow to learn some times, but being out of work, cold, hungry, and bankrupt has a way of focusing the vox populi. And while we are now a Lang Type Socialist Government system, it’s still a democracy. And while democracies are unstable, in this case that just might be a feature…

    So I’m not worried. “This, too, shall pass”. It just takes a bit of patience, grasshopper… But I am willing to “beat the grass to startle the snakes” (Rising Sun).

    Hot Tea anyone?… I’m off to a cup of Red Rose…

  35. kim (17:13:34) :
    global cooling, and if the globe continues to cool(who here doubts that very much?)

    Many. Last time I checked this was not a global cooling fear mongering site.

  36. “if the globe continues to cool (who here doubts that very much?) then this will be a potent issue in the coming year and a half.”

    The AGWAns will be gone with the whirlwind.

  37. Unfortunately, my US Representative is none other than that village idiot, The Hon. Ed Markey, who is working cheek-by-jowl with the Less-than-Hon. Henry Waxman, to implement repressive policies on the basis of science the two of them don’t even begin to understand.

    I’m thinking of moving to a more rational part of the country, if there is one.

    /Mr Lynn

  38. Rep Earl Blumenauer OR
    “There is little in the whole response to climate change that we shouldn’t do any way, to reduce pollution, save money and enhance our security.
    Why “climate change” instead of “global warming”? because it is a much more accurate term. while we are slowly cooking the planet, the most immediate impacts are unpredictable, extreme weather events, including viable temperatures, both warmer and cooler.
    It is interesting to see the responses of the climate skeptics/doubters and political fringe who somehow feel repeating the talking points passes for discussion. WE have had over 60 hearing in our committee on global Warming and Energy Security alone. we have actually tried to have debates on the floor of the House, the results on CSPAN for all to see.
    I’ve worked with enough scientists to believe that analysis of deep core samples of ice from the two poles, geological formations does in fact yield reliable information, like the rings of ancient trees.Modern science doesn’t need news video tapes from the time of Cleopatra.”

  39. “we have actually tried to have debates on the floor of the House, the results on CSPAN for all to see.”

    Really? Without a skeptical point of view? Who does Al Gore debate? Tipper? I bet it goes like this:

    Al: “And the seas will rise twenty feet in the next century.”

    Tipper: (under breath) “Yeah, if we throw you in there.”

  40. Dear Blumenauer, encumbering carbon will not reduce pollution, raising the price of energy will not save money, and drilling here and drilling now will do more for our security than depending upon erratic wind and solar sources. Accumulated cyclone energy is at a thirty year low, so much for more extreme weather events. Hotter AND colder temperatures makes no dam sense, and besides, the globe is cooling, now. Why do you depend upon ice cores from researchers whose work can’t be replicated because they won’t archive their data, and believe phony statistics applied to split bark Bristlecone Pine Tree rings more responsive to CO2 levels and moisture than to temperature? If you’ve actually had a debate worth listening to in your House, it sounds like you didn’t listen to it.
    ============================================

  41. Andrew (16:25:09) :

    I know I’m exposing the Inner Geek in myself by posting a Spock Quote, but this one is pretty good. People like Rep Waxman want the power of Cap’n Trade SO BADLY, well…

    SPOCK: “After a time, you may find that having is not so
    pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical; but
    it is often true.”

    “Amok Time,” Spock to the suitor of Spock’s betrothed. First episode with Spock’s mother, IIRC. Fortunately I don’t know the subsequent Star Trek series well.

    Note also, the supposedly Chinese curse “Be careful of what you wish for, you may get it.

  42. Adolfo Giurfa (18:00:03) : We use to say in spanish something translated like “I have no candle in this burial” to mean I can not meddle into this issue, but, may I suggest that instead of “snip- ad hominem” wouldn´t be better “snip- ad bestiam”

    Adolfo, I love it! BTW, in American English the equivalent phrase would be:

    “I have no dog in this fight” (meaning I’m not betting on either party since my dog is not in the dog fight, so I’m neutral and/or don’t want to get hit…) which does fit with your bestiam ;-)

    There is also “How about you and him fight?” meaning “I’ll watch you two go at it, but I’m not involved” though with a humorous sub-text sense based on the old cliche of “how about you and me fight (it out)” being twisted into sticking some other 3rd party with the fight at the last second.

    Finally, there is “count me out” meaning “I’m not picking a side and I’m pushing away” which I think comes from being cashed out of a card game (having your chips counted out in cash as you push away from the table) and has the opposite of “count me in” which happens at the start of a game when your money gets counted into chips to “be in the game”. “Count me in” has somewhat been generalized to mean both “you can depend on me” and / or “sure, I’ll go with you (to dinner, movie, whatever)”

    Don’t know what the idioms would be in British English and I’m sure the Aussies must have a hundred ways to say it. (They have a few thousand for “shaking hands with my wife’s best friend” – meaning a visit to los baños ;-)

  43. AKD 20:33:47

    Well, it’s not for lack of my trying. I’m pretty sure we’re headed for a moderately dramatic cooling with rampant crop failures. That means death to those living on the margin now. Do you understand that even a 5% die-off of the human race is 350 million people? If you think the first world can be protected from the social consequences of such a holocaust, then you have another think coming. Global cooling is a heck of a lot more lethal than global warming, and guess which one is happening right now.
    ===================================

  44. O/T
    I have just looked at the papers for the Civil Action by Kivalina Village V “US Energy Companies et al”.
    The document is dated February 28, 2008 – has no signature or court validation – is this for real?

    Janice

  45. At the close of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia on September 18, 1787, a Mrs. Powel anxiously awaited the results, and as Benjamin Franklin emerged from the long task now finished, asked him directly: “Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” “A republic if you can keep it” responded Franklin.

    It seems that, with representatives and senators like Pelosi, Waxman, Franks, Reid, Leahy, and a host of others, we cannot keep it.

  46. Joseph’s 2nd suggestion, above, is a remarkable way to get presidential attention, or at least discover if it too is being ‘filtered’.

    blog.ostp.gov/2009/ . . .

    I have created an account. I am studying each principal for which comments can be posted.

    I urge all others here to do the same.

  47. A bit off-topic but worth looking at: this is a talk about global warming, energy policy and cap-and-trade given by the CEO of a natural gas company to a university audience.

    http://www.fcpp.org/pdf/UVU%20and%20BYU%20speech.pdf

    I think this was quite balanced and well articulated – very influential in my opinion – I certainly hope more of these kinds of talk are being given to university students.

    Ok, yeah, it was slanted to how great natural gas is and all that – but what would you expect from the CEO of a NG company?

  48. The american voted for the Democrates, it was their choice! My pity is very small for the americans now.

  49. Retired Engineer:

    I agree with you, that politics is conducted with such deals as this post describes. This is nothing new.

    Most laws that impact people/industries have been done this way, with the closed door sessions and agreements. How many laws are passed with so-called “loopholes?” How did those loopholes get in there?

    What the public sees in the hearings, debates on the floor, and the voting is just for show. The deals have been made long before.

    Elected officials stick up for their constituents as much as they can without losing political clout, and the next election. But, the electeds need other members’ votes to get their own initiatives passed. So each elected must give a little here or there to obtain the votes necessary for his/her initiative. This puts each elected official in a tough spot: if he/she does not cooperate with at least some of the others, nobody votes for his/her initiatives, and he/she is seen as ineffective and loses the next election.

    As some sage said, It is not a good idea to watch sausage or laws being made. (Mark Twain, maybe?)

    A rather interesting, and very similar, situation is underway at this moment in Southern California, specifically the region governed by the South Coast Air Quality Management District, or SCAQMD. This is the area including Los Angeles and surrounding communities. Under a system very similar to cap-and-trade, the SCAQMD issues permits to pollute, all according to various federal and state laws.

    Recently (2008), an environmentalist group, NRDC, sued SCAQMD, claiming that their “bank” of emissions credits held invalid credits. Emissions credits are those that are returned to the SCAQMD when some facilities cease operation, or otherwise improve their operation so that less pollution is emitted. Such events happen regularly, because the laws require an upgrade to a facility to use best available control technology. As the years pass, worn out equipment is replaced with new, less polluting equipment, and the emissions savings can be saved in a company’s private “bank account” or returned to SCAQMD. However, to be re-issued to a new entity, the “banked credits” must meet certain standards, such as being real, verifiable, etc.

    NRDC won the lawsuit, and roughly 80 percent of the SCAQMD’s banked credits were declared invalid by the court.

    The practical result of the court’s decision is that literally thousands of existing construction projects, including new facilities, and upgrades to old facilities, are on hold because sufficient emissions permits are lacking. Planned projects are also on indefinite hold, and no one really knows how many of those exist.

    All of this is a long way of saying that the SCAQMD is seeking a legislative remedy, so that the court’s ruling becomes moot. The jockeying for position while these bills (two are under consideration) is exactly what this post describes: interested parties meet with elected officials to make their case as to how the law should be written, and who should receive favorable treatment.

    Sources for all this are these:

    California Bills SB 696, and AB 1318

    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/sen/sb_0651-0700/sb_696_bill_20090413_amended_sen_v98.html

    http://www.aroundthecapitol.com/billtrack/text.html?file=ab_1318_bill_20090227_introduced.html

    SCAQMD website:

    http://www.aqmd.gov/permit/docspdf/PermitMoratoriumLetterandFAQ.pdf

  50. Let me get this straight.
    1. The economy is in a deep recession.
    2. The US budget will balloon.
    3. We are in the middle of a global credit crisis.
    4. Taxes are planned to increase.
    5. European leaders are warning of social unrest.
    6. We now have the threat of an influenza epidemic.
    7. Politicians now want to throw in cap and trade.

    Can political leaders get any more embicilic than that?
    HELLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  51. These a$$—- are going to overreach, and the tea parties of early April are going to look like picnics compared to what is coming if these embicile politicians don’t come out of their stupor.
    Anarchy and martial law next year? Don’t rule it out.
    Really, it makes my blood boil just thinking about how these politicians think they can regulate us into submission. I’m not going to take it.

  52. Johnny Honda,
    Unfortunately, I have to agree with you.
    Indeed idiots have to face the consequences of their stupid, dumb decisions. It’s just too bad that the minority of sane Americans are going to have to bear the pain too.

    Most Revolutions are painful. Hopefully Americans will not only boot these oppressing little dwarf politicians out of office, but also run them out of town too.

    I ought to be careful, I suppose. Napolitano has probably got an eye on me.
    First time I ever been apprehensive in speaking my mind.
    These little Waxman Napoleans are dangerous. Really.

  53. AKD (20:43:37) :

    kim (17:13:34) :
    global cooling, and if the globe continues to cool(who here doubts that very much?)

    Many. Last time I checked this was not a global cooling fear mongering site.

    We humans, idiots that we are, seem to be suffering under two illusions: first, that the planet is warming dangerously, and will continue to do so with disasterous effects, and second, that it is we humans who are causing it, through our use of fossil fuels, and can therefor stop it by switching to alternative energies such as wind and solar. We humans are completely wrong though, on both counts. Not only are we planning for the wrong change of climate, but we are foolishly wasting multi-billions, with plans to waste trillions switching our energy systems to much more costly, and less efficient ones. This will have disasterous effects on world economies already suffering at this point, as Kim pointed out.
    We humans are about to get sucker punched by Nature, while we are busy taking off our protective gear

  54. Somehow the notion of allowances and the trading of them for much needed votes seems eerily similar to the indulgences to which Martin Luther objected so strongly in 1517.

    Perhaps AGW is a religion after all – it sure shows the trappings of one.

  55. Johnny Honda (01:55)

    When Ed Koch lost his election a reporter asked him, “What now.”

    Koch replied, “The people have spoken, and now they must be punished.”

  56. AKD (20:43:37) :

    kim (17:13:34) :
    global cooling, and if the globe continues to cool(who here doubts that very much?)

    Many. Last time I checked this was not a global cooling fear mongering site.

    We humans, idiots that we are, seem to be suffering under two illusions: first, that the planet is warming dangerously, and will continue to do so with disasterous effects, and second, that it is we humans who are causing it, through our use of fossil fuels, and can therefor stop it by switching to alternative energies such as wind and solar. We humans are completely wrong though, on both counts. Not only are we planning for the wrong change of climate, but we are foolishly wasting multi-billions, with plans to waste trillions switching our energy systems to much more costly, and less efficient ones. This will have disasterous effects on world economies already suffering at this point, as Kim pointed out.
    We humans are about to get sucker punched by Nature, while we are busy taking off our protective gear
    P.S. – Sorry, forgot to tell you great post!

  57. 0bama promised to get rid of earmarks if elected. That’s one of many campaign promises he broke.

    So why doesn’t he get rid of earmarks? Because they are so useful for dividing your enemy.

    The promise of $millions for a Congressman’s district works two ways: if the politician takes the loot in return for a vote, he ingratiates himself to the 0bama team, and showers his constituents with money taken from constituents of the other 434 Congresscritters.

    But if he refuses, his opponent in the next election beats him over the head with the fact that he turned down $millions for his district.

    So 0bama kept the earmarks. Because Congress is for sale to the highest bidder. WASS. [We Are So…]

  58. Roger Sowell (2:59:45): that’s pretty discouraging news about the invalidation of credits. It highlights how uncertain life becomes when everything you do depends on the approval of a bureaucrat; who is busy; who may have been bribed or bullied by somebody with interests adverse to yours; who may (? will) have indifferent controls over the quantity and quality of the approvals being issued. In your example the credits are a kind of fiat currency. But one which was successfully challenged as counterfeit by NRDC.

    A little counterfeit money can poison the entire currency. Ink in the swimming pool. Uncertainty taxes imposed on all. And when people face too much uncertainty, they won’t risk action. Everyone who was counting on them –not least the government with its hand out for tax revenues from all those projects– ends up with less or nothing. John Galt would be smiling.

  59. Obama is creating crisis, nothing less, nothing more. Obama wants tax money and CO2 Cap and tax is the perfect opportunity to get it. $3,000 per family average across the nation is what I have seen. Obama is going to spend the money on health care according to what I have read.

    57% of the voters put him in, let’s see how many is left once his policies are in place. It may be the same, large city voters with open hands put him in office.

    Crisis is an opportunity for change as he says. If the crisis gets bad enough, he may be the change factor in the 2010 elections and gone forever in 2012 or sooner.

  60. Typically an optimist I have a really bad feeling about this. I have to disagree with Joeseph above. I have contacted my congressman and senator but seriously doubt this venue for public expression of opinion will ever see the light of day. This is a money grab pure and simple. I am holding out for either; 1. An NEO the size of Brazil makes impact at one of Gore’s mansions, or 2. The American public, en masse marches on the capitol. We’ll make the Boston Tea Party look just like that: a boston tea party.

    As documented above: the oppositions (e.g. Waxman’s) tactics are out for all to see. They are not muted or subtle. His performance at the hearings was deplorable. In fact after watching him dispute Newt I really cannot understand how this guy gets from his car to his office (or anywhere for that mater) without getting the S–T beaten out of him. This is indicative of many politicians, just watch C-SPAN.

    I am very thankful however for the internet. The fact that I have, a non-scientist, middle class blue collar worker, access to this information after being fully convinced of AGW and see the fraud of it is very encouraging. I know I’m not alone, and I am fully perpared to march on our capitol and throw these bums out of office. It’s been long, LONG, overdue!

    Hopefully this will be the tiping point that signals the ‘beginning of the end’ for our current ‘Special Interest State’ form of government. Obama: watch out!

    In the event of the passage of this bill I can see the day coming where Gore pronounces that the Cap&Trade bill has worked and we saved the poles (already happened), after the fact. And if global cooling continues; no problem we’ll just offer carbon debits and make money from both sides of the graph. (The fact he was even allowed to testify with his ties to HIS Generation Innovation Management corporation is nothing short of criminal). The fat cats will sit back and pat each other on the backs for a job well done while millions starve and freeze to death. Make no mistake – these guys know EXACTLY what they’re doing.

    I have never owned, nor have had any proclivity for owning a firearm, but lately I’ve been thinking…hmmm. What’s it gonna take to stop this madness?

    Thanks guys (Anthony, et al) and gals for the great work you’ve done here, and that goes to CA, Co2 Science and a ton of others! Keep it up.

  61. [snip – while I don’t agree with Mr. Waxman, ad homs and scenarios of this type are not what we want to see here – Anthony]

  62. Ah yes, the Zen of Global Warming. The beginning was Maurice Strong setting up the IPCC and now the rapidly approaching cap and trade ending has Maurice Strong on the Board of the Chicago Climate Exchange.
    Waxman may not know much about latent heat but he knows how to exchange power for money.

    Are there any commodity traders here who can estimate how many trillions will pass through the exchanges that are “approved” for the business, and what percentage of commissions will come off of the top?

    I could ask if the Chicago Climate Exchange will be approved to trade CO2 allowances but that would be a waste of keystrokes.

  63. Some where I saw a reference that Al Gore will make a fortune if cap and trade is passed. Anyone have references to his business interests and how much money he will make if cap and trade passes

  64. The only conclusion I can come to is that this Administration wants to destroy the United States.
    I guess they want someone else to lead the world (like China or India!) I believe India has had it’s top scientists declare that CO2 is not a problem.

    Where is the world headed with CO2? It’s hard to tell.

    Hopefully the world wide depression and a cooling climate along with the spreading bird flue pandemic will bring even these guys to their senses!

  65. “Each of you, for himself, by himself and on his own responsibility, must speak. And it is a solemn and weighty responsibility, and not lightly to be flung aside at the bullying of pulpit, press, government, or the empty catchphrases of politicians. Each must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, and which course is patriotic and which isn’t. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide against your convictions is to be an unqualified and inexcusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let man label you as they may. If you alone of all the nation shall decide one way, and that way be the right way according to your convictions of the right, you have done your duty by yourself and by your country- hold up your head! You have nothing to be ashamed of.”
    -Mark Twain

    “How does it become a man to behave towards the American government today? I answer, that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it.”
    -Henry David Thoreau

  66. These political shenanigans definitely call for a rereading of Animal Farm.
    The entire cast is on display on the nightly news. Funny how some of them even look the part.

  67. Granting carbon allowances will be the new currency for pork.

    As if that is not enough, tax breaks for Carbon traders was already snuck into the TARP bill that needed to be passed with such urgency.

    Q1: What happens if the Congress issues more Carbon allowances than the EPA determines to be the total cap for a given year?

    Q2: Is this going to be a way to target the unfavorable companies/entities by granting allowances to the unfavorables’ competitors?

  68. Can anyone provide a link to complete video of the congressional testimonies given on March 25?

    I can’t seem to find it anywhere.

  69. How bad has it gotten?

    Besides OR Rep. Blumenauer (D) echoing the AGW gibberish
    here in Oregon our Governor is about adopt Oregon’s version of Cap and Trade with help from the legislature.

    The University or Oregon cooked up a study that showed that doing nothing would cost every Oregon family 2000.00 per year that cap and trade and other Governor Kulongoski policies will ultimately SAVE them money.

  70. juan (18:57:53) :

    “…How to do it must obviously be regarded as the natural and mortal enemy of… How not to do it.

    In this was to be found the basis of the wise system, by tooth and nail upheld by the Circumlocution Office, of warning every ingenious British subject to be ingenious at his peril: of harassing him, obstructing him, inviting robbers (by making his remedy uncertain, and expensive) to plunder him, and at the best of confiscating his property after a short term of enjoyment, as though invention were on a par with felony.”

    Juan, thank you for this remarkable bit of Dickensian insight.

  71. Budget Neutral Taxation, or Revenue Neutral. This is an oxymoron of biblical proportions.

    BC Canada has a “revenue neutral carbon tax”, counting the shortfall in consumption revenue and the increase of people eligible for the energy credits due to recession and special assistance from the Government, they came up nearly 20% short in revenue to pay the “revenue neutral” programs and other taxation breaks given before any revenue was attained, proving you cannot create a Zero Sum Tax.

    When you use revenue from consumption that credits lower income people “to offset” the effect of a tax and the economy slows you get a divergence of number of people qualifying vs number people paying the first rises and the second lowers, this is the multiplies the deficit for the program.

    In the US watch the Children’s Health Tobacco Tax Revenue, I will Guarantee that the budget has a shortfall on this program. So if you want low income family children to have health care then DO NOT QUIT SMOKING. Anyone see a problem brewing here?

    Cap and Trade is like everything this Admin does, there is a limit to what they determine is a reasonable income, production level, size of business or amount of emissions you can have and if you are bigger than what they determine you should PAY PAY PAY or they simply shut you down or take over your business. Imagine the first carbon insolvency to land in the Treasury Dept. and the response.

  72. The whole cap-and-trade scheme is nothing but a PERVERSE MONEY-GRABBING SCAM anyway. Just ask the good folks over at eureferendum.blogspot.com (who are huge fans of WUWT by the way) and they will tell you all about Europe’s experience with it. Cap-and-trade is nothing more than government-control of the free market through arbitrary allocations of permits, which means one thing: money. If you’re a CEO of a company that is doing marginally well and you want to boost your profits for your shareholders (and thus their dividends), all you have to do is close a factory. Here’s the bonus to that in a way that does not exist today: you get to say your company is becoming more ‘environmentally friendly’ based on the reduction of your carbon emissions score. You can also sell off your extra permits to industries that have a higher demand for their products, but also have a tighter ceiling or are over their limit with regards to permits. You thus get “instant” profits by putting people out of work, and “instant” credibility (for what it’s worth) for being more environmentally friendly. All those working class folks now out of work are going to need the so-called ‘tax credits’ Obama is promising just to survive. And you can bet, with the way he is going to rig the tax code to soak the ‘rich,’ that nobody but nobody is going to mess with the system and thus raise their own taxes. The only thing this bill and others of its ilk does is to make us more dependent on the federal government, which is surely not what the Founders had in mind when they wrote it into the Constitution. But there again, with things like McCain-Feingold being discussed as if they were necessary and proper and then passed into law with nary a question, we seem to have left the Constitution in the back porch dust-bin as we walk out of the house. Mark my words, if this monstrosity comes into being, state and local governments will be even more irrelevant than they are now. We will no longer be a federal republic except in name only. The federal government will have complete power over our lives (what doesn’t take energy to do or make or buy?) and all the money will go towards nothing but further corruption and manipulation of the law for the privilege of making an extra few dollars if you have the influence to buy it. There will be lobbying like nobody has ever seen for a few more carbon permits to this or that industry so it can be more profitable. POWER CORRUPTS. ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY. That is what this bill means.

  73. Does this surprise you? Cap & trade has ALWAYS been about political power over industry; this is just setting up the Democratic protection racket. The environmental preservation argument is only for the suckers.

  74. The actual point of cap and trade is control and corruption. Allocation to contributors and collaborators in exchange for favors.

    It’s Rob Blagojevitch Chicago style politics.

    First, Chicago climate exchange receives start up funding by Joyce foundation. BO on the Joyce foundation board doing the funding.

    Second, Cap and trade promoted as the preferred method by president BO.

    Third, preferred industries/buddies are allowed higher carbon credits in return for support.

    Result- more control.

  75. If Waxman were truly serious about curbing carbon emissions, these kinds of deals would be off the table. What hypocrisy!

    Letter already drafted and sent to my House representative.

  76. Will Hollywood High School’s oil wells be granted a Waxman cap and trade dispensation so the poor little rich kids won’t have to go out selling Sally Foster junk to fill budget deficits?

  77. I tried to vote against Waxman. Unfortunately he was the only name on the ballot. The only thing I could do was abstain. People might want to look at their districts and see who is running unopposed. Could have been a surprise winner if someone was running against him. I would have voted for the unknown person just to get Waxman out.

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