the humble libertarian

out of many one

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rep. Henry Waxman's Cap and Trade Climate Bill in Committee

Coal Gas Plant Photo by Joel Mabel (GFDL)

We're in trouble.

Congressman Henry Waxman's Cap and Trade Energy Bill is just as big and just as bad as the Stimulus Bill and TARP Bailout- and it's about to come to a vote in committee on Capitol Hill in less than 48 hours. Apparently, Rep. Waxman has skipped over a subcommittee vote to push his bill through for a full vote by the House Energy and Commerce Committee this week.

What this bill would do:

  • Mandate that 25% of U.S. electricity come from "renewable" sources (and nuclear doesn't count). "This kind of renewable portfolio standard directly contradicts the putative flexibility of cap and trade, which is supposed to allow businesses to reduce CO2 how and where it is least expensive."
  • Regulate everything from roofing to "furnaces, laundry machines, dishwashers, showerheads, faucets, water closets, and urinals even (or especially?) jacuzzis."
  • By 2020, "the manufacture of any general service lamp that does not meet a minimum efficacy standard" will be prohibited. That includes fixtures "designed only to be mounted directly to an art work and for the purpose of illuminating that art work."
  • Allows the government to "bring legal charges in U.S. district courts against 'any person . . . distributing in commerce any covered product which does not comply.'"

The WSJ editorial makes this key observation:

Despite political favoritism and billions in subsidies, wind still only accounts for about 1% of U.S. net electric generation, and solar all of one-hundredth of 1%. So now the liberal solution is simply to force people to buy them, a la the ethanol mandate. Yet it will be difficult for renewables to ever reach 25%, given their inherent limitations (intermittency) and, ironically, green opposition (no new power lines). That won't stop Congress from punishing utilities that fail to meet an impossible goal.

Take Action Now (not the most libertarian organization, but our goals do align on this issue) is circulating an e-mail with the following list of key representatives to call on the Energy and Commerce Committee:

Rep. Michael Ross (AR) 202-225-3772
Rep. Charlie Melancon (LA) 202-225-4031
Rep. G. Butterfield (NC) 202-225-3101
Rep. Zack Space (OH) 202-225-6265
Rep. Michael Doyle (PA) 202-225-2135
Rep. Bart Gordon (TN) 202-225-4231
Rep. Charles Gonzalez (TX) 202-225-3236
Rep. Gene Green (TX) 202-225-1688
Rep. James Matheson (UT) 202-225-3011
Rep. Rick Boucher (VA) 202-225-3861
Rep. Peter Welch (VT) 202-225-4115
Rep. Jay Inslee (WA) 202-225-6311

And some talking points:

1. I am disappointed that Rep. Waxman is rushing the 1,000-page cap-and-trade Carbon Tax through the Energy and Commerce Committee this week.

2. This bill deserves full deliberation and should not be rushed.

3. I oppose the cap-and-trade Carbon Tax. This is an outrageous power grab by the federal government that will greatly expand government control and increase my taxes.

4. Especially in these difficult economic times, Congress must not pass this tax on the American people!

Please take just one minute and call just one of these representatives, especially if you live in one of their districts. Let's defeat this bill in committee before it ever comes to a vote on the floor of the House.