Thursday, May 21, 2009

St.Clair: Cap&Trade-Bait&Switch

An interesting article today at Counterpunch by its co-editor, Jeffrey St. Clair, and Joshua Franks on the Obama administration's environmental protection stance. The writers make interesting observations regarding CO2 and Cap & Trade. What follows is an excerpt:

When it comes to CO2 emissions, the EPA has been more bark than bite. While admitting that greenhouse gases are a threat to human health, the agency will not necessarily move to regulate industry emissions.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson ... speaking before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said on May 12: "The endangerment finding is a scientific finding mandated by law ... It does not mean regulation."

In fact instead of implementing real regulatory oversight the Obama administration has held its campaign promise to tackle CO2 emissions by embracing free market environmentalism, i.e. cap-and-trade. Obama proposes reducing US emissions 83% by 2050 by essentially allowing industry to regulate itself by putting a price on carbon. But many say there is a reason industry isn’t frightened.

“[Cap-and-trade] programs have so many leaks, trap doors, and perverse side effects that they'll probably do more harm than good,” says Ted Nace director of CoalSwarm, an environmental project of the Earth Island Institute that seeks to shut down the existing coal plants in the US.

“The illusion that a solution is in place will then prevent simpler, more focused solutions from being implemented." says Nace.

Not surprisingly, Obama refuses to consider strict regulation let alone a carbon tax to address the country’s big CO2 emitters.

Read Original Article