Cap & Trade: Political Alchemy, Economy Buster & Disaster for Poor

By —— Bio and Archives--June 25, 2009

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According to Webster’s Dictionary, one of the definitions assigned to the word alchemy reads, “a method or power of transmutation: esp., the seemingly miraculous change of a thing into something better.”


Indeed, for thousands of years, some of the greatest minds in world history dabbled in the pseudo-science of alchemy.  Such great thinkers as Leonardo DaVinci held to the misguided belief that substances of little value could be changed into precious metals, like gold and silver.  In fact, this was the life work of many.  And why not?  If a near worthless substance like lead could be transformed into a precious metal, untold wealth would come to the individual who invented a formula that would change the world.  Of course, not much thought was given to the concept because if lead could be altered into a precious substance like gold, gold would lose its value.


During recent years, with the support of radical environmentalists, a form of political alchemy is being foisted upon the public.  Some might say it is the result of liberal guilt by the affluent left or a diabolical plot to radically change the way we all live.  The left has successfully manipulated their collective angst and it will have a disastrous impact on the world around us in many ways.

During the last two decades, liberals have developed a way to demonize fossil-burning fuels.  This strategy included the turning of carbon emissions into a commodity which can be assigned monetary value.  Former Democratic Vice-president Al Gore—who has become extremely wealthy in the process—has helped promote the idea of carbon offsets from which revenue, supposedly, can be used to help “save” the environment.  Just one of Gore’s palatial estates in Tennessee sucks up a great deal of energy for one family.  Indeed, the environmental impact of just one of Gore’s homes on the CO2 levels in the atmosphere far exceed those of dozens of average American families combined.  But liberals, like Gore, had to develop ways to assuage their guilt.  Therefore, supposedly, Gore and his liberal brethren, feel they can make everything okay by paying for their extravagant lifestyle by simply offering up cash for each “evil” unit of carbon they use.  It can be called a type of secular indulgence whereby the progressive sinner finds relief.  That is, if that liberal environmental sinner can afford it.

Now this would be all well and good, if those who were tormented by such guilt voluntarily sent a check in to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) or any other governmental body which would be more than happy to take their money.  However, an upcoming vote on Friday, June 26th, in the U.S. House of Representatives may force a struggling American economy into further recession.


Cap & Trade, one of President Barack Obama’s primary political initiatives, will be considered by Congress.  Cap & Trade would impact all U.S. power plants which supply the nation’s homes and businesses with energy through the use of fossil fuels.  In laymen’s terms, a utility company which operates a coal-fired facility would be required to pay the government for each unit of CO2 emissions which result from the burning of coal, natural gas, fuel oil, etc.  The more carbon units utility companies use, the more they will be charged.  The more they are charged, the more these costs will be passed along to the public.

Though Obama refuses to call Cap & Trade a “tax”, he admits the cost regarding the energy needs of an average household will increase from $1,500 to $3,000 per year.  But this would only be the tip of the proverbial iceberg.  Every business in America would also see a drastic rise in operating costs which will be passed along to the consumer.  Billions of dollars in American wealth will change hands as a result of a “tax” which literally will come out of thin air.


Liberals claim Cap & Trade is designed to benefit the world.  The thinking being, due to higher costs related to Cap & Trade, America will be forced to wean itself off of fossil fuels.  But, if passed into law, Cap & Trade will result in the largest tax increase ever imposed on the American people.  The huge hole in Obama’s Cap & Trade policy is obvious to all who have a rudimentary understanding of how America generates electricity and other forms of power—which will not change for decades to come.  For example, one of America’s most abundant energy resources is coal.  But, at the same time, coal-burning power plants, including those which currently burn clean bituminous coal, will feel the greatest financial impact from Cap & Trade and those costs will be directly passed on to the consumer.  These increased costs will include the heating and cooling of individual American households and an even greater expense will be incurred by businesses.  Again, those who will suffer most from Cap & Trade legislation will be the American public.  There will be higher expenses at the grocery store, at appliance dealers, hair salons, auto repair shops…it goes on and on.  Every business in the United States will see its costs go up significantly, resulting in grossly accelerated inflation, a loss of thousands of jobs in the energy industry alone and other untold millions of Americans will suffer a direct financial impact because of Obama’s misguided Cap & Trade legislation.


Perhaps the greatest misnomer regarding Cap & Trade is the idea America will quickly shift from the use of fossil fuels—like coal, natural gas and fuel oil—to alternative energy sources, including wind, thermal and solar power.  Here again this is either wishful thinking on the part of radicals who are trying to take control of future government policies regarding energy or, as many believe, a diabolical plot to help redistribute America wealth—which is totally consistent with Obama’s admitted political agenda which he alluded to prior to his election.  However, many Democrats themselves are also having questions about such radical political agendas, including Obama’s plan to nationalize health care.


Obviously, a yearly increase of $1,500 to $3,000 per household, will have the greatest impact on those who can least afford it, including middle-class Americans, the elderly and handicapped.  In a time when many are struggling to make ends meet, for the sake of a flawed policy not yet backed by the means to provide alternative energy, it is widely predicted Cap & Trade will send the American economy into a further tailspin.  Most affected will be a vast number of the population residing in states that depend on power plants which use fossil fuels, including a large swath of the country from Virginia to Pennsylvania and many Midwestern states.  But Obama claims there will be relief offered for those most hard-pressed by the draconian increase in energy costs.  His resolution?  An increase in funding of programs which offer assistance to low-income Americans.  The result?  A greater dependence on the government by the American people which will lead to even higher taxation and more government bureaucracy.


Many believe there is a more sinister aspect behind Obama’s Cap & Trade legislation.  Faltering companies, like General Electric, have been awarded or promised huge government contracts regarding the research and development of alternative energy sources.  NOTE:  General Electric is expected to receive billions of dollars in government contracts.  General Electric owns NBC and MSNBC and they have been some of Obama’s biggest supporters in the mainstream media, both prior to and after his election.  But even the most ardent environmentalists admit the predictions of an easy and early shift in the way America derives its energy is Pollyannaish.  Indeed, there are serious problems concerning the environmental impact of facilities which are developing possible alternative energy sources.  The construction of sites in the West—which would be targeted for the development of solar and wind power—would have a tremendous environmental impact on millions of acres of now pristine desert—which would turn into vast forests of windmills and never-ending arrays of solar panels.

The proposed technology to transform the way energy is supplied in the United States may not be feasible for decades.  At the same time, the use of vast reserves of natural gas, oil shale and America’s most abundant resource (coal) will be discouraged and penalized.  Therefore, while many on the left discourage drilling for oil offshore and in places like ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) in Alaska because of concerns for the environment, it is clear there will be a battle looming in the not too distant future regarding the environmental viability of solar and wind power.  It must be remembered, much of Obama’s policies are being advanced in order to wean the U.S. off its dependency on energy from foreign nations.  However, if destroying parts of the American desert—rather than drilling for oil in other parts of the nation—sounds counter-intuitive, counter-productive and short-sighted, this would be a reasonable assessment of an energy policy without foresight.

Cap & Trade must be defeated.  Yet there is a reason why this legislation is on the fast track.  Obama’s hope is to advance this bill into law before the American people come up to speed on its dire ramifications for the country.  Cap & Trade is perhaps one of the most important pieces of legislation to be considered by Congress in a generation.  The onus now falls on the American people to contact their legislators in the attempt to head off a radical policy which will change the American way of life in many ways.


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Daniel T. Zanoza -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Daniel T. Zanoza of Lincoln, IL, formerly of Chicago, was born into life November 27, 1953, and born into eternity January 6, 2011.
He is survived by his wife, Julie, of Lincoln, IL.

Dan was a pro-life/pro-family activist, as well as chairman of the Springfield Nativity Scene Committee in Springfield, IL. He was also a journalist and freelance writer.

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