March 10, 2009
Pragmatism Bites: Cap & Trade Bill But a Shell of Itself

Earlier today it dawned on me we haven't heard much of the cap & trade legislation pending in Olympia, so I did a little digging. It would seem the House version of the bill continues to be altered, with a "2nd Substitute" further amending the Governor's original legislation.

The bill report [pdf] makes pretty clear that the language left standing isn't even as aggressive as the previously amended version, which essentially turned all the proposed actions by the Department of Ecology into proposed working groups to study the issue and report back to the Legislature. This latest version adds more loopholes and further clarifies that it will be the Legislature and the Legislature only that decides when a cap & trade system is implemented...depending on when our elected representatives decide to take it up again after further study.

The Senate version remains its own odd duck, with a notable requirement that the system be voluntary [hey, stop laughing!], in addition to other changes.

After discovering such things, I inquired with a source more expert than this blogger on such matters. That kind soul confirmed my analysis that the legislation is but a shell of its former self and pointed me to this post at Publicola:

At this point, every environmental lobbyist in Olympia is grousing under their breath about what a joke the bill is because it has no substance.

The initial intent of the bill, a governor's request bill, was to empower the state's Department of Ecology to design a carbon cap and trade system. But after a lobbying blitz by the business community--let's wait to see what the feds do, they cried--there is no cap on emissions.

That's teetering on the edge of victory, for now...at least as much as one could expect from overwhelming Democratic majorities.

Posted by Eric Earling at March 10, 2009 10:18 PM | Email This
Comments
1. Cap & Trade legislation is Criminal legislation to expand the intrusion of Government and to encumber and steal from the Citizenry. It is the outgrowth of the Phony Global Warming Scam. Any Politician that votes for Cap & Trade in any form is doing a disservice to Society. The idea of Cap & Trade should be put completely out of existence as well as, the Phony Global Warming Scam. Most Politicians have sold their souls and credibility to the highest bidder a long time ago. Politicians, with few exceptions, are self serving to the detriment of Society. They stand for Big Government, Power and Control over Society and to make their livelihood from the work and production of the Citizenry. They serve against much more than they serve for. Politicians are Parasites!

Posted by: Daniel on March 10, 2009 10:48 PM
2. Hey, I'm NOT laughing:
Given the travesties represented by the original versions of HB 1819 and SB 5735, I'll settle for dodging the bullet (so far); and being thankful for small favors; i.e.:
Apparently getting the can kicked down the road.

And Eric is absolutely right:
The 2nd Substitute variants are probably about as much as we could hope for, given the makeup of the WA Leg this Session.
BUT:
Note my ''so far'' qualifier above:
While as of this morning 2SHB 1819 shows no further action after being placed on 2nd reading, 2SSB 5735 looks like it is undergoing very active ''discussion'' on the Senate floor:
WA Leg Bill Tracking shows that 11 floor amendments have been sumitted.

SUMMARY: I won't stop worrying about this threat until we see what finally gets signed by the Gov. Hopefully all of the outrageous provisions that were originally included in this legislation will remain disappeared; or at worst will stay ''kicked down the road'' for a couple years.

Watchword for this Session remains the same:
HOLD ON to your pocketbooks (and remember to vote NO on any and all tax increases that the majority sends to the ballot this year.

Posted by: Methow Ken on March 11, 2009 05:34 AM
3. I watched the latest episode of '24' last night. Towards the end, the Madam President comes on the tube so I stopped the fast forward on TiVo when she came on. It was an ad by Fox (the supposed Republican network) admitting to the global warming scam and recommending the viewers (except one square Cheryl Crow) to reduce their carbon footprint.

Well, we should all work to reduce our footprint, I suppose (and I do), but this one seemed to be an admission. My first thought was AlGore saying the debate was over. If Fox is doing this, I guess he was right, so I have to double my efforts but the other side won't listen. What to do?

cap and trade- I agreed with Bush on Kyoto when the Chinese and Indians and Ruskies weren't going to cap their emissions so why destroy our economy over this?

And what are State legislatures doing this for? What global warming in this state? My word, there is more ice in the polar regions than before. The earth has been cooling since 1997.

Total waste of money and a guarantee to destroy our business environment.

Posted by: swatter on March 11, 2009 07:12 AM
4. "Green" energy is only "competitive" if oil prices are high. We all saw how well that worked when gas prices were over $4 a gallon. Prices for everything started going up. In my household, a lot of our extra, discretionary spending went down because it went into either higher gas or higher prices elsewhere. There were some very tough months.

Throw on top of this any plan to impose all sorts of forms of carbon taxes. Costs to the typical household will skyrocket. They will not be able to adjust their behaviour to the governmentally approved forms quickly enough and they will suffer.

But, perhaps that is the plan. If they suffer enough, they will change and function as government dictates. It is their choice - change or suffer.

Posted by: SouthernRoots on March 11, 2009 09:14 AM
5. I actually liked the way PSE did it. They gave you the option to sign up for more expensive "green power" if you wanted it. So those people who believe in the global warming dogma could feel better about themselves. This is how all AGW legislation should be modeled.

Posted by: Palouse on March 11, 2009 09:52 AM
6. It occurred to me that the operative effect of cap and trade on consumers is a sales tax upon everything they buy or consume. All costs incurred from implementation and compliance of C & T by CO2 emitters will be passed on to consumers. the revenue streams are different but the impact on consumers is the same.

Posted by: Paddy on March 11, 2009 03:02 PM
7. If you look at the state mandate for alternative energy by 2012 you will note that the suppliers of natural gas, electricity and heating oil have already started to charge more because of the mandate. They all must supplement alternative source that have already raised your bill. Waite until the natural gas prices increase, you have not seen anything yet!

Posted by: HW on March 14, 2009 01:01 PM
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