Today’s Calamity: Will Cap And Trade Save The Planet?

Posted on Wed 08/26/2009 by

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By Nick Loris

Last week, in our inaugural Cap and Trade Calamities, we laid out the exorbitant costs the Waxman-Markey cap and tax bill would impose on your family. But if it saves the planet, isn’t it all worth it? The fact is, our planet is not in the immediate danger environmental activists purport it to be, and even if it were, Waxman-Markey would not do a thing to stop it.

When the benefits of cap and trade are measured against the costs, the costs significantly outweigh the negligible benefits. We break down the exorbitant costs of Waxman-Markey’s imposed carbon emissions reductions here. Let’s dissect the benefits.

According to a calculation by climatologist Chip Knappenberger, the temperature reduction by 2100 if we enacted the Waxman-Markey cap and tax bill would be between 0.1 and 0.2 degrees Celsius by 2100. Even the Obama Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency admitted that U.S. action alone would not change world carbon dioxide emissions.

One big reason that a bill with such sweeping economic changes would have no substantial environmental impact is because China, which emits more carbon than the U.S. and is increasing their emissions levels much faster, will not cut back. China, as well as India and other fast developing nations, have made clear that they will never hamper their own growth with global warming measures like Waxman-Markey. Increasing emissions is a sign of industrial growth and no developing country wants to stunt that growth.

Unfortunately, some in Congress don’t care that the extraordinary perils of carbon dioxide regulation for the American economy come with little, if any, environmental benefit. They are siding with radical environmentalists who are willing to pay anything to “save the planet,” even when the benefit is barely noticeable.

On Thursday, we’ll explain how the Waxman-Markey cap and trade bill, in typical government fashion, promises more than it can deliver.

You can sign up to receive Cap and Trade Calamities where we point out the problematic provisions in the Waxman-Markey bill, as well as our Energy & Environment newsletter, here.

Contributing Author Nick Loris writes at The Heritage Foundation and he is a Research Assistant at The Heritage Foundation’s Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies.

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