Viewpoint: Cap and Trade

The U.S. House may vote as early as next week to pass cap and trade.

So, what in the world is cap and trade? Well the pollster Rasmussen reports asked that question about a month ago, and only 24 percent of voters surveyed had any idea.

A larger number, 29 percent, thought it had something to do with regulating Wall Street fat cats.

Well, cap and trade is a regulation all right, but it's not Wall Street that should be worried - but Main Street.

Cap and trade is the energy policy being pushed by the Obama White House and liberal Democrats in Congress to reduce carbon dioxide emissions that supposedly contribute to the global warming that is supposedly occurring.

Formally, the bill is known as "The American Clean Energy and Security Act," or the Waxman-Markey Plan, named after its two principal sponsors.

In a nutshell, cap and trade means the government would impose a cap on emissions, and utilities and manufacturers would have to buy permits, which they could trade among themselves.

The cost of all this, in the untold billions of dollars, is supposed to create a financial incentive to find alternative sources of energy besides fossil fuels like coal.

President Obama himself has admitted this scheme will cost you big money, as companies are forced to retrofit their operations and pass the cost along to consumers. As a candidate, in January of last year, Obama told a San Francisco newspaper, "under my plan of a cap and trade system electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket."

And here's how Democratic congressman John Dingell of Michigan described cap and trade at a recent hearing, "Nobody in this country realizes that cap and trade is a tax, and it's a great big one."

Americans for tax reform this week presented Congress with a letter signed by 186 national and state leaders opposing cap and trade. The group said cap and trade would raise energy costs by $1,500 a year for the typical family of four, and it will destroy 2 and a half million American jobs.

In spite of what you hear from people like Al Gore, who makes a very nice living as a professional alarmist about global warming, there is a great deal of disagreement among scientists as to whether this phenomenon - if it is occurring at all - is caused by human activity and is not simply part of some natural cycle over which humanity has no more control than we have over the rising and setting of the sun and the moon.

That being the case, you'd think that our nation's leaders would want to find out for sure before they ram through a massive government takeover of energy production in this country.

But global warming isn't about science anymore. It's about politics. And the true believers who now hold the reins of power are taking advantage of the public's ignorance on this issue.

Don't let them. Educate yourself about cap and trade. I hope you've learned something just now.

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