Tuesday, April 7, 2009

"The largest corporate welfare program in the history of the U.S."

The coming Cap-and-Trade debacle.
The Supreme Court's decision last year that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the authority to regulate carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act and the EPA's ruling in March that carbon dioxide threatens the public's health and welfare, have put considerable pressure on Congress to act. Naturally, when the federal government puts hundreds of billions of dollars in play, it attracts a lot of rent-seekers. "The special interests that seek to derail, blunt, or tailor any new climate policy to their narrow agendas have already gathered in staggering numbers," declared The Climate Change Lobby, a study conducted by Center for Public Integrity. In 2008, more than 770 companies and interest groups spent an estimated $90 million funding 2,340 climate change lobbyists in Washington, DC.

The prospects of carbon rationing and permanently higher fuel prices are going to produce far-reaching changes in the ways companies do business and hit consumers hard in their pocketbooks. In March 2008, House Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee member Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Penn.) told the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, "You are either at the table or on the menu." Mixing his metaphors, Doyle added, "This train is leaving the station." Now it's largely a question of whom it's going to run over.

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