Energy & Environment

The 2011 Interim Report

The 2011 Interim Report from the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change presents an overview of the research on climate change that has appeared since publication of Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change. Research published before 2009 is included if it did not appear in the 2009 report or provides context for the new research. Nearly all of the research summarized here appeared in peer-reviewed science journals.
The current report was coauthored by a team of scientists recruited and led by Craig D. Idso, Robert Carter, and S. Fred Singer. Significant contributions were provided by the lead authors and contributors identified on the title page. This team of scientists has been working since the release of Climate Change Reconsidered on a new comprehensive report currently scheduled for release in 2013. A second interim report, similar to the current report, is planned for 2012.
To read the 2011 Interim Report, click on the appropriate link(s) below. Click here to read the report's press release.
Front Cover   JPG (0.2 MB)
Front Matter   PDF (0.6 MB)
Chapter 1
Climate Models and Their Limitations   PDF (0.6 MB)
Chapter 2
Forcings and Feedbacks   PDF (0.6 MB)
Chapter 3
Paleoclimate and Recent Temperatures   PDF (0.8 MB)
Chapter 4
Observations and Projections: Cryosphere, Ocean Dynamics, and Hydrology   PDF (0.7 MB)
Chapter 5
Observations and Projections: Extreme Weather   PDF (0.6 MB)
Chapter 6
Terrestrial Animals   PDF (0.6 MB)
Chapter 7
Terrestrial Plants and Soils   PDF (1.4 MB)
Chapter 8
Aquatic Life   PDF (0.9 MB)
Chapter 9
Human Health Effects   PDF (0.5 MB)
Chapter 10
Economic and Other Policy Implications   PDF (1.0 MB)
Appendix 1: Acronyms   PDF (0.3 MB)
Appendix 2: Contributors to the 2011 Interim Report   PDF (0.3 MB)
Back Cover   GIF (0.1 MB)

Full Report   PDF (8.3 MB)

"CFACT attended the December 2010, U.N. Climate Change Treaty Gathering"
Millions of peoples lives are held down by the greed of those who would deny them the ability to develop affordable energy.  If the elites, who desire to force Cap & Trade on society for the purpose of falsely regulating CO2 emissions (realists know this is a horrid scam to rape the masses of money and opportunity), wanted to really benefit society, they would work to develop community based mini-nuclear reactors, oil and gas production facilities and all affordable means of energy to lift them out of poverty.  Please take a moment to watch this mini-document of life outside the U.N. Climate Change Meeting in CanCun, Mexico.

So the Whitehouse Czar John Holdren wants to reframe 'Global Warming' to 'Global Climate Disruption'.  How does that change the 'fact' that the only provable fact of their effort is the effort to make TRILLIONS of dollars from this regulatory nudge. 
The reason we call it 'weather' is that we never know 'whether' it's going to rain or shine, be still or blow, shake or sway.  Reasoned thought reveals that the natural order of weather is to be unpredictable and cyclical.  The weather is not predetermined by one element; it is determined by many elements which are constantly in flux of one another.  The great thing about nature is its ability to adapt and burp out whatever pesky element is disrupting it...CO2 is not one of those things.
Time and tax dollars are better spent to adapt to the changes and survive the disasters. Mankind will enjoy the ride while we are here for as long as we are capable of adaptation to the ever changing environment.  Isn't that how it's been for many a millenium?  The strong survive because they focus on how to adapt to the changes well in advance of them, rather than wasted efforts to control human activity in an attempt to stop natural occurences.  One has great merit and provable results.  The other is sure to lead to misery and the extinction of many not by the environment, but misguided attempts to control it.
Enjoy this article on the Obama Administration's agenda to plan and control your individual liberty through their 'Progressive' agenda.
Yours In Truth  ;-)  Shelly

White House: Global Warming Out, 'Global Climate Disruption' In

Published September 16, 2010

From the administration that brought you "man-caused disaster" and "overseas contingency operation," another terminology change is in the pipeline. 
The White House wants the public to start using the term "global climate disruption" in place of "global warming" -- fearing the latter term oversimplifies the problem and makes it sound less dangerous than it really is. 
White House science adviser John Holdren urged people to start using the phrase during a speech last week in Oslo, echoing a plea he made three years earlier. Holdren said global warming is a "dangerous misnomer" for a problem far more complicated than a rise in temperature.

Morning Bell: How the White House is Making Oil Recovery Harder

Posted June 10th, 2010 at 9:36am in American Leadership, Energy and Environment, Enterprise and Free Markets 69 Print This Post Print This Post
Five weeks ago Escambia County officials requested permission from the Mobile Unified Command Center to use a sand skimmer, a device pulled behind a tractor that removes oil and tar from the top three feet of sand, to help clean up Pensacola’s beaches. County officials still haven’t heard anything back. Santa Rosa Island Authority Buck Lee told The Daily Caller why: “Escambia County sends a request to the Mobile, Ala., Unified Command Center. Then, it’s reviewed by BP, the federal government, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Coast Guard. If they don’t like it, they don’t tell us anything.”
Keeping local governments in the dark is just one reason why the frustration of residents in the Gulf is so palpable. State and local governments know their geography, people, economic impacts and needs far better than the federal government does. Contrary to popular belief, the federal government has actually been playing a bigger and bigger role in running natural disaster responses. And as Heritage fellow Matt Mayer has documented, the results have gotten worse, not better.
And when the federal government isn’t sapping the initiative and expertise of local governments, it has been preventing foreign governments from helping. Just three days after the Deepwater Horizon explosion, the Dutch government offered to provide ships outfitted with oil-skimming booms and proposed a plan for building sand barriers to protect sensitive marshlands. LA Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) supported the idea, but the Obama administration refused the help. All told, thirteen countries have offered to help us clean up the Gulf, and the Obama administration has turned them all down.

I am just asking the if we had used a small nuclear explosion to stop the oil leak immediately, how much less or more environmental damage would there have been?  How many jobs would have been saved?  How much public/private property would have been protected?  How much valuable tax payer dollars would've been saved?  I am just asking?  Are you?

Yours in Truth  ;-0  Shelly

Russian paper suggests ‘nuclear explosion’ could cap gulf oil geyser

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, May 4th, 2010 -- 7:50 pm

nuke usaf Russian paper suggests nuclear explosion could cap gulf oil geyser
As British Petroleum scrambles to affix a four-story, 70-ton dome over the massive oil geyser venting toxic sludge into the Gulf of Mexico, people everywhere are wondering what else can be done to stem the deadly tide.
Komsomoloskaya Pravda, Russia's best-selling daily publication, has an idea: Why not just nuke it?
During the Soviet years, Russia's communists had to deal with numerous oil disasters and on five different occasions they employed controlled, underground nuclear blasts to quickly solve the problem.
[The] underground explosion moves the rock, presses on it, and, in essence, squeezes the well’s channel," Pracda reported.
"It’s so simple, in fact, that the Soviet Union, a major oil exporter, used this method five times to deal with petrocalamities," added Moscow reporter Julia Ioffe, writing for True/Slant. "The first happened in Uzbekistan, on September 30, 1966 with a blast 1.5 times the strength of the Hiroshima bomb and at a depth of 1.5 kilometers. KP also notes that subterranean nuclear blasts were used as much as 169 times in the Soviet Union to accomplish fairly mundane tasks like creating underground storage spaces for gas or building canals."
And those 169 underground blasts do not count the Soviet military's tests of various atomic-yield weapons, the paper noted.
Russia's success in capping major oil leaks with nuclear demolitions has an almost perfect record of success: only one detonation failed to accomplish its purpose. The last such explosion took place in 1979, according to Ioffe.
During the same period, the United States also had a "peaceful nuclear explosions" program called Operation Plowshare. U.S. officials abandoned it due to environmental concerns.
Conspiracies rum amok
Meanwhile, a variety of conspiracy theories about the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig have emerged, with some suggesting that it may have been an Obama administration inside job, an attack by environmental terrorists, an indirect result of people liking meat or even an act of God.
One theory in particular that's been circling conspiracy sites claims the disaster was caused by a North Korean torpedo as a way of presenting an "impossible dilemma" to President Obama ahead of the United Nations nuclear summit, with the goal being total chaos in the world's nuclear arms debate. The writer, going by the name "Sorcha Faal", sourced the claim as part of a "grim" report circulating the Kremlin, providing no additional details as to how the information was obtained. That was apparently good enough for "The European Union Times," which ran the claims in-full.
Blogger Chris Baskind, writing for More Minimal, retorted:
Though the EU Times doesn’t attribute its source, a quick Google reveals the author to be Sorcha Faal, the well-know internet hoaxer. For perspective, some of Faal’s recent potboilers:
Little green men, earthquake machines, and an accusatory congress of raptors. Entertaining stuff, but not a pedigree which lends much credence to the North Korean mini-sub story.
In the days following the blast, credible suspicion almost immediately began circulating around Halliburton, ex-Vice President Dick Cheney's former company, which was cementing the well cap when the explosion hit, killing 11 workers and initiating the ecological disaster. The firm was also tapped to aid the government's investigation, according to the Associated Press.
As a stipulation in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty signed by US and Russian officials earlier this year, the United States on Tuesday revealed the size of its active nuclear warhead stockpile for only the second time in history. According to the Pentagon, at the end of Sept. 2009, the U.S. had 5,113 nuclear warheads: down massively from the 31,255 warheads stockpiled in America circa 1967.
At time of this writing, the gulf oil geyser was jetting 210,000 gallons of crude per day, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. BP claimed their best efforts to stop the oil vent may take up to three months.

BP told feds it could handle oil spill 60 times larger than Deepwater Horizon
By Ben Raines
May 19, 2010, 5:00AM

Spewing oil(AP Photo/BP PLC) 
This image from a video released by BP PLC shows oil spewing from a yellowish, broken pipe 5,000 feet below the surface. The oil looks like steam rushing from a geyser. The video released Wednesday May 12, 2010, gives a glimpse of the leaking well a mile underwater. BP report image.jpg
"Site specific Oil Spill
Response Plan . . . not required"

Read excerpts from the Initial Exploration Plan for the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.
In its 2009 exploration plan for the Deepwater Horizon well, BP PLC states that the company could handle a spill involving as much as 12.6 million gallons of oil per day, a number 60 times higher than its current estimate of the ongoing Gulf disaster.
In associated documents filed with the U.S. Minerals Management Service, the company says that it would be able to skim 17.6 million gallons of oil a day from the Gulf in the event of a spill.
As of Tuesday, BP reported recovering 6 million gallons of oily water since the ongoing spill began four weeks ago. BP spokesman Tom Mueller said that only about 10 percent of the skimmed liquid was oil, which would amount to about 600,000 gallons of oil collected thus far.
Mueller also said via e-mail Tuesday that "the spill has stayed about the same size or even shrunk on the water as a result of our response efforts." To read the full article click here.

CCX pushes Cap & Trade; $10 Trillion Fraud?
Summary of the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act (S. 1733) Chairman's Mark
Download this Summary

November 2009                                                                                                                      
Senator Boxer (D-CA), the Chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, introduced the Chairman’s Mark of The Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act (S. 1733) on October 23, 2009. This expanded draft of the Kerry-Boxer bill released in September fills in the details on the distribution of greenhouse gas emission allowances and other provisions, but continues to have placeholders for important issues such as international trade measures and carbon market oversight.  Like the early draft, the Chairman’s Mark draws heavily from the climate provisions of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (Waxman-Markey bill) passed by the House of Representatives on June 26, 2009, but continues to differ in several important areas (e.g., 2020 reduction target and preemption of EPA regulatory authority).  In addition, while the House bill is a comprehensive clean energy and climate bill, the Kerry-Boxer bill focuses primarily on reducing U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  Earlier this year, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which has jurisdiction over most energy issues, passed a comprehensive energy bill (American Clean Energy Leadership Act of 2009) that corresponds with some of the energy policy provisions contained in the House bill.  The Kerry-Boxer bill should be viewed as an important starting point for Senate deliberations.  Further work by the Committee on Environment and Public Works, by other Senate committees of jurisdiction, and by other interested Senators will likely fill in some of the unaddressed issues.  Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) is expected to combine the various elements into a bill to be brought before the Senate sometime in the coming months.
The following describes key aspects of the Chairman’s Mark (Kerry-Boxer bill) with specific attention to areas where it expands on what was in the earlier version of the Kerry-Boxer bill or where it differs from the House bill.
The goal of the Kerry-Boxer bill is “to create clean energy jobs, promote energy independence, reduce global warming pollution, and transition to a clean energy economy.”  The core of the bill creates a “Pollution Reduction and Investment” program aimed at setting up an economy-wide, market-based program for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).  Businesses covered by this program would be required to hold enough GHG emission allowances to match their emissions.  The bill also contains complementary measures including: targeted emission standards; support for research, development and deployment of low carbon energy alternatives; and expanded programs to increase energy and water efficiency.  Finally, the bill includes provisions intended to ease the transition to a clean energy economy by protecting consumers, workers, and energy-intensive industries from the impact of higher energy costs.

Scope of Coverage
The Kerry-Boxer bill covers the same seven GHGs identified in the House bill:  carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride, and nitrogen trifluoride.  Entities covered by the bill include large stationary sources emitting greater than 25,000 tons per year of GHGs, producers and importers of petroleum fuels, distributors of natural gas, producers of hydrofluorocarbon gases, and other specified large sources.  Approximately 85 percent of national greenhouse gas emissions are covered under the cap.  Hydrofluorocarbons are covered by a separate cap and perfluorocarbons may also be regulated separately based on a future decision delegated to EPA.  The bill also calls for a decision by EPA on whether additional domestic regulations on black carbon are warranted.

The Senate bill sets a more stringent 20 percent reduction target from 2005 levels in 2020 compared to the 17 percent reduction in the House bill.  The other targets are the same: a 3 percent reduction from 2005 levels in 2012; 42 percent reduction in 2030; and an 83 percent reduction in 2050.
Distribution of Allowances
The Chairman’s Mark provides detailed information on how allowances are to be distributed.  While most of the purposes to which allowance value is dedicated, most of the entities receiving allowances, and most of the amounts they receive are similar to the House-passed bill, a few differences are worth noting.  Similar to the House bill, allowances are allocated to electricity (35 percent) and natural gas local distribution companies (9 percent) and to states for home heating oil and propane users (1.5 percent) expressly for the purposes of benefiting residential, commercial and industrial consumers.  Free allocation of allowance value is also provided to refineries and to energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries to prevent “carbon leakage” – the migration of industries (and their emissions) to countries without similar GHG mitigation programs.  The bill includes placeholder language that indicates the Senate’s intention to also address “carbon leakage” through some form of border measure on energy-intensive imports.

To further ease the transition to a low carbon economy, allowance value is provided to support deployment of carbon capture and storage technology; to fund energy efficiency and renewable programs by states; to finance transportation programs, clean vehicle, and advanced energy technologies; to support programs to train workers for the nuclear industry; and to support worker transition and training for those dislocated by the shift to low carbon energy.  In addition, allowance value is used to recognize early action to reduce GHG emissions, to support a program to create supplemental agriculture and forestry reductions, to supply allowances for the Market Stability Reserve (see Cost Containment, below), to fund domestic and international adaptation programs, and to support international clean technology programs.  The bill designates allowance value for energy refunds for low and moderate income households and establishes rebates for all energy consumers beginning in 2026. Unlike the House bill, this bill provides allowance value to support transportation planning programs, building code enforcement, water efficiency programs, supplemental reductions from agriculture and forestry, and training for workers in the nuclear power industry.     It also differs from the House bill in that it calls for initially auctioning 10 percent of allowances annually (increasing to 25 percent by 2040) specifically for the purpose of making sure the bill does not add to the budget deficit. Distribution of allowance value for all other purposes would occur after these allowances are set aside from the total.

Cost Containment and Offsets
The Chairman’s Mark includes measures aimed at reducing the costs of compliance and minimizing allowance price volatility.  Like the House bill, it provides for a two-year rolling compliance period, unlimited banking of unused allowances, and limited borrowing (with restrictions on the amount and time period with the payment of interest).  Also like the House bill, it allows for the use of 2 billion tons of qualified offsets annually, but divides this amount differently, with three quarters allowable from domestic sources (1.5 billion) and one-quarter (500 million) from international sources.  However, if domestic supplies of offsets prove inadequate, an additional 750 million tons from international sources (1.25 billion tons total) can be used to reach the total of 2 billion tons annually.  The bill leaves open the question of which agency or agencies would manage implementation of the offset program, simply giving authority to the President.  In addition, the bill creates a Market Stability Reserve (“reserve”), from which allowances would be auctioned to covered entities if allowance prices exceed a designated threshold.  The reserve would be stocked with allowances borrowed from future years (larger quantities are designated as supply for the reserve than were included in the House bill) and would be replenished with domestic and international forestry offsets purchased with reserve auction revenue.  The minimum threshold price triggering these auctions would initially be set at $28 per ton (in 2005 constant dollars), but would increase each year by a certain percentage (5 percent through 2017 and 7percent thereafter) over the previous year’s reserve auction price plus inflation.
Complementary Policies
In addition to establishing the GHG Pollution Reduction and Investment program described above, the Chairman’s Mark seeks to supplement measures contained in the clean energy bill that has been approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.  The Chairman’s Mark provides support for:
  • Deployment of carbon capture and storage technology through a ten-year program funded through wire charges, bonus allowances for early deployment projects, and  allowance value designated through 2050 for further deployment;
  • Expansion of nuclear technology by establishing research and development programs for waste management and to safeguard aging existing power plants, and a program to train workers in the nuclear industry;
  • Expansion of advanced natural gas, including the use of carbon capture and storage and incentives for lower emitting electricity generation; and
  • Expanded funding for programs for state energy efficiency initiatives, and building code and retrofit programs.
In addition, the bill requires performance standards for newly constructed coal-fired power plants to require carbon capture and storage technologies once the technology has been adequately demonstrated.  It also requires GHG standards for heavy duty and other vehicles and engines to complement the recent EPA proposal for greater fuel efficiency from light duty vehicles.  The bill includes a 6-year moratorium (2012 through 2017) on states imposing their own GHG cap-and-trade programs.  Unlike the House bill, it does not preempt EPA from requiring performance standards on new and existing stationary sources, but it does delay until 2020 any EPA standards on sources that are outside the cap but that could supply domestic offsets (e.g., landfill and coal mine methane).
Yes it's true, I watched Glenn Beck's program on May 12, 2010 and decided to do my own research on Maurice Strong and his ties to the IPPC, Global Warming, Cap & Trade, Climategate, all of it.  This is a brief culmination of what I found and have posted here for anyone who happens by to read it.  It is my belief that everyone should do their own research into the good, bad and evil of Maurice Strong and friends.  Decide for yourself if this is a threat to the U.S. Constitution.  I personally believe that the U.S. Constitution is the only thing standing between NWO and You.  Your in Truth  ;-)  Shelly

All that President Barack Obama is doing to transform America, Free World over to One World Government begins and ends with one Maurice Strong. Soros is merely the financier

Glenn Beck: Meet Maurice Strong

 By Judi McLeod  Thursday, May 13, 2010
Great job on shining the FOX flashlight on man-behind-the-curtain Maurice Strong last night.
You asked for people to send you information on Strong. 

It’s true that Strong explained that he had only fantasized the end of the world in his now famous interview with a Canadian reporter.  Unfortunately for the free world, the fantasy is Strong’s philosophy.While the entire cable network world, thanks largely toThe One Thing, now knows that Strong is on the Chicago Carbon Credit Exchange board of directors, it gets worse, much worse.
As recently as 2006, speaking from an air conditioned boardroom somewhere in Communist China, Maurice Strong—the same man who would deny air conditioning for you to save the environment—was hatching his latest anti-American initiative. 
“Having cashed in his Kyoto credits and having launched his ManyOne Internet project from afar, Strong is back on the international scene, ready or not.  With his latest comeback, the elusive Strong is stepping back into the limelight after his alleged links to the UN Oil-forFood scandal took him off the radar screen for more than a year.  This comeback sees Strong teaming up in the biz world with George Soros.  The deadly duo aims to flood the American market with cheap Chinese-made cars. (Strong & Soros in Business: A Partnership from Hell, CFP, June 15, 2006).
“Strong’s public predictions that China would replace the United States, as world superpower is not happening fast enough.  So Strong and President George W. Bush malcontent George Soros are contemplating pouring hundreds of millions into a Communist China automaker that manufactures the “Chery”.”
So Strong and Soros were working on anti-American schemes as far back as 2006.
They had hoped to decimate Ford, Chrysler and GM by flooding the U.S. market with cheapo Cherys on a 2007 deadline.
Well, we now know what happened to the American auto industry in 2009.
But it doesn’t even begin or stop there.
Maurice Strong has almost as much impact on average Americans as the air that they breathe.
All that President Barack Obama is doing to transform America and the Free World over to One World Government begins and ends with one Maurice Strong. Soros is merely the financier.
Here, in his own words, is what Strong wants for the middle class: “It is clear that current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class—involving high meat intake, consumption of large amounts of frozen and convenience foods, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work-place air-conditioning, and suburban housing—are not sustainable.  A shift is necessary towards lifestyles less geared to environmentally damaging consumption patterns.”  (1992 Rio Earth Summit 11).
Strong’s portrayal as a Wizard Oz in a fog of ether was helped along by Canada’s state-owned, liberal and largest television network, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)l
The CBC 2004 special, The Life and Times of Maurice Strong, features a visit by Strong to former Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev who gives Strong a CBC-described “glass saber full of the same brandy Stalin used to send Winston Churchill every week.” 
It was in an admiring way that CBC reporter Ann-Marie MacDonald described Strong as a sort of “cross between Rasputin and Machiavelli.”
You could say that it’s downright Machiavellian how Strong and Gorbachev consorted back in 1997 to replace the Ten Commandments with the UN Earth Charter. 
Although it defies belief,  their jointly authored Earth Charter is carried around in a wooden chest called the Ark of Hope. 
The Ark of Hope is described as a “magnificent large sycamore chest, which was conceived as a visual message of peace, sustainability and concern for the Earth.” 
Gilt-covered and lavish in the looks department, the chest carries Temenos Earth masks.  The 96” poles of the 200-lb. chest are “unicorn horns which render evil ineffective”.
The Ark carries Gorby’s and Strong’s Earth Charter, an international peoples‘ treaty, need of which was foreseen and initiated at the Strong-led Rio Earth Summit in 1992. At last count, the Ark was being carried into New York classrooms.
Now you know, Glenn why Strong is too busy to write novels.  Besides, it must be so much more fun rewriting history.
Lest you think CFP is pulling your leg, this is what Gorbachev has to say about the Earth Charter: “The Ten Commandments are out of date.  They will be replaced by the 18 principles of the Earth Charter.”
It is CFP’s belief that the way for The Messiah was cleared for Barack Obama by Maurice Strong and that Louis Farrakhan was right on the money when he said “before he was elected, he (Obama) was selected”.
So how does Maurice Strong get away with it?
By relying on the media-hyped conspiracy theory charges.  You know, those rednecks still waiting for the black helicopters.
Meanwhile, when Glenn pulled the curtain back on International Man of Mystery Maurice Strong last night, he hit the motherlode. 

Rather than telling you that I believe Crap & Tax (Oops!, I mean Cap & Trade) is a boondogle to the upper and lower classes, while crushing the middle class...I thought I would bring both views to this blog.  1st up is the Heritage Foundations article (a little dated from 2007) and afterwards (for dessert) you can read Cap & Trade 101, by the Center for American Progress.  No '2' groups could be further from each others ideals, so you will get the best of both worlds and decide for yourself if Cap and Trade will be more than another level of bureaucrcy that has no effect on the levels of CO2 emitted around the globe.  Next up will be some articles about Climate Gate...there are some great articles out there to bring here for your enjoyment.  Yours in Truth  ;-)  Shelly
The Heritage Foundation on 'Cap & Trade'
Beware of Cap and Trade Climate BillsPublished on December 6, 2007 by Ben Lieberman -----------------Center for American Progress on 'Cap & Trade'
Learn more about global warming proposal by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Ed Markey (D-MA) that sets caps on energy use and harms U.S. economy. Visit our Cap and Trade Global Warming Bill Rapid Response page
America's Climate Security Act of 2007 (S. 2191), sponsored by Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and John Warner (R-VA), is the latest and fastest-moving "cap and trade" bill introduced in Congress this year. All such climate change measures warrant careful scrutiny, as they would likely increase energy costs and do considerably more economic harm than environmental good.
A Costly Proposition
These measures would set a limit, or cap, on carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel use. The effect of such a cap would be to impose rationing of coal, oil, and natural gas on the American economy. Each covered utility, oil company, and manufacturing facility would be given allowances based on past emissions or some other formula. Those companies that emit less carbon dioxide than permitted by their allowances could sell the excess to those that do not; this is the trade part of cap and trade. Over time, the cap would be ratcheted down, requiring greater cuts in emissions.
Each proposal differs from the others on specifics: the stringency of the cap, the number and type of companies covered, the ground rules for allocating and trading allowances, and other details. S. 2191 is, in several respects, more stringent than other cap and trade bills. Its requirement that emissions decline to 15 percent below 2005 levels by 2020--even in the face of a growing population and rising energy demand--sets a very difficult target.[1]
Measures like S. 2191 that target carbon emissions aggressively will be costlier than those that give the economy more time to adjust to the energy constraints. For example, over the long term, energy companies may find ways to capture and store carbon dioxide emissions underground, rather than emit them into the air, or switch to lower-emitting alternative energy sources as they are developed. But most experts see these advances as taking decades--much longer than the initial targets in S. 2191 allow. In fact, these targets may actually complicate the development of longer-term innovations, as they will divert resources to near-term fixes.
Carbon dioxide is the unavoidable byproduct of fossil fuel combustion, which currently provides 85 percent of America's energy. Thus, it will be very costly to move away from this preferred energy source, and especially doing so as expeditiously as S. 2191 requires. A study by Charles River Associates puts the cost (in terms of reduced household spending per year) of S. 2191 at $800 to $1,300 per household by 2015, rising to $1,500 to $2,500 by 2050.[2] Electricity prices could jump by 36 to 65 percent by 2015 and 80 to 125 percent by 2050.[3] No analysis has been done on the impact of S. 2191 on gasoline prices, but an Environmental Protection Agency study of a less stringent cap and trade bill estimates impacts of 26 cents per gallon by 2030 and 68 cents by 2050.[4]
Even these cost projections may underestimate the true costs, because they assume no unpleasant surprises. But the world has already witnessed many unpleasant surprises with Europe's ongoing efforts to impose a cap and trade program under the Kyoto Protocol, the international climate treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In fact, European efforts have racked up significant costs while failing to reduce emissions.[5] Nearly every European country participating has higher emissions today than when the treaty was first signed in 1997. Further, despite ongoing criticism of the United States from Kyoto parties for failing to ratify the treaty, emissions in many of these nations are actually rising faster than in the United States.
The European experience also shows the problem of cap and trade fraud.[6] None other than Enron's Ken Lay was a strong supporter of carbon cap and trade when the idea was first floated in the 1990s, saying that it could "do more to promote Enron's business than almost any other regulatory initiative." These carbon allowances that will be bought and sold have a value estimated at $50 billion to $300 billion annually, and the trade in them would be a huge new business.[7] Enron may be gone, but others ready to take advantage of cap and trade--often at public expense--are not.
The actual cost of S. 2191 is difficult to estimate--as America has never had to deal with such severe energy constraints--but would likely be very high.
A Regressive Tax
By limiting the supply of fossil fuels, S. 2191 would raise the cost of energy. For consumers, cap and trade means more expensive gasoline and electricity as well as net job losses in energy-dependent sectors. Senator Lieberman himself concedes costs into the hundreds of billions of dollars. And as the Congressional Budget Office has noted, such energy cost increases act as a regressive tax on the poor.[8]
Lost Jobs
The net job losses from S. 2191 are estimated by Charles River Associates to be 1.2 million to 2.3 million by 2015.[9] Some of these jobs will be lost for good, due to the impact of higher energy costs on economic activity. Others, chiefly in the manufacturing sector, will be sent overseas. In the very likely event that S. 2191 significantly raises domestic manufacturing costs and that developing nations refuse to impose similar restrictions, the American economy could experience a substantial outsourcing of manufacturing jobs to those nations with lower energy costs.
Little Environmental Gain
While the costs of aggressive cap and trade proposals are substantial, the environmental benefits are suspect. This is true even if one fully accepts the claim of man-made global warming. The most ambitious measure to date is the Kyoto Protocol, but even if the U.S. were a party to this treaty and the European nations and other signatories were in full compliance (most are unlikely to meet their targets), the treaty would reduce the Earth's future temperature by an estimated 0.07 degrees Celsius by 2050--an amount too small even to verify.[10] S. 2191 would at best do only a little more.
Indeed, a number of economists, including many who are far from global warming skeptics, warn of overly aggressive cap and trade measures imposing costs exceeding the benefits.[11] In other words, the costs of implementing such measures would be higher than the value of the global warming damage that they would prevent.
The Slippery Slope
It is a near certainty that the first climate bill enacted will not be the last one. In fact, most major environmental organizations have already criticized S. 2191 and other pending global warming bills as inadequate, or as at best "a good first step." The economic impacts of S. 2191, though substantial in their own right, could be a mere down payment toward costlier subsequent measures.
Cap and trade bills are nothing short of a government re-engineering of the American economy. And S. 2191, with its aggressive targets to reduce emissions from fossil fuel use, would put the nation on a path of serious economic harm not justified by any benefits.
Ben Lieberman is Senior Policy Analyst for Energy and the Environment in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

What is Cap and Trade?

  • The goal: To steadily reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions economy-wide in a cost-effective manner.
  • The cap: Each large-scale emitter, or company, will have a limit on the amount of greenhouse gas that it can emit. The firm must have an “emissions permit” for every ton of carbon dioxide it releases into the atmosphere. These permits set an enforceable limit, or cap, on the amount of greenhouse gas pollution that the company is allowed to emit. Over time, the limits become stricter, allowing less and less pollution, until the ultimate reduction goal is met. This is similar to the cap and trade program enacted by the Clean Air Act of 1990, which reduced the sulfur emissions that cause acid rain, and it met the goals at a much lower cost than industry or government predicted.
  • The trade: It will be relatively cheaper or easier for some companies to reduce their emissions below their required limit than others. These more efficient companies, who emit less than their allowance, can sell their extra permits to companies that are not able to make reductions as easily. This creates a system that guarantees a set level of overall reductions, while rewarding the most efficient companies and ensuring that the cap can be met at the lowest possible cost to the economy.
  • The profits: If the federal government auctions the emissions permits to the companies required to reduce their emissions, it would create a large and dependable revenue stream. These financial resources could be used to achieve critical public policy objectives related to climate change mitigation and economic development. The federal government can also choose to “grandfather” allowances to the polluting firms by handing them out free based on historic or projected emissions. This would give the most benefits to those companies with higher baseline emissions that have historically done the least to reduce their pollution.
  • What Would a Successful Cap-and-Trade Program Look Like?
  • The goal: To limit the rise in global temperature to approximately 2.0 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels by 2050 by reducing carbon dioxide and other emissions from companies as part of a larger plan for curbing global warming.
  • The cap: To achieve this goal, the U.S. government should steadily tighten the cap until emissions are reduced to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Businesses would have to obtain permits entitling them to emit a certain quantity of carbon dioxide or its equivalent in other greenhouse gases. All permits would be auctioned off by the government. Emissions permits in the near term would likely fall in the range of $10 to $15 per metric ton of carbon dioxide or its equivalent.
  • The trade: Companies unable to meet their emissions quotas could purchase allowances from other companies that have acquired more permits than they need to account for their emissions. The cost of buying and selling these credits would be determined by the marketplace, which over time would reduce the cost of trading the credits as trading becomes more widespread and efficient.
  • The profits: Initial estimates by the Congressional Budget Office project that an economy-wide cap-and-trade program would generate at least $50 billion per year, but could reach up to $300 billion. Approximately 10 percent of this revenue should be allocated to help offset costs to businesses and shareholders of affected industries. Of the remaining revenue, approximately half should be devoted to help offset any energy price increases for low- and middle-income Americans that may occur as a result of the transition to more efficient energy sources. The other half of the remaining revenue should be used to invest in renewable energy, efficiency, low-carbon transportation technologies, green-collar job training, and the transition to a low-carbon economy. Some resources should also be invested in the energy, environment, and infrastructure sectors in developing nations to alleviate energy poverty with low-carbon energy systems and help these nations adapt to the inevitable effects of global warming. Revenues from the permit auction would essentially be “recycled” back into the economy to facilitate the transition to an efficient, low-carbon energy economy and ensure that consumers are not unduly burdened by potentially higher energy costs.

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