Dem Senator admits few lawmakers understand Cap and Trade

Senator Jay Rockefeller told a group of constituents yesterday that 9 in 10 legislators have absolutely no idea how Cap and Trade actually works. That’s quite an admission, particularly considering that 219 – all but 8 of them Democrats -- successfully voted to pass the Waxman-Markey Cap and Trade Bill in the House last June.

The West Virginia Democrat’s confession came when he returned home to reassure voters that he will continue to fight for the state’s indispensible coal industry.  With health care in the rearview mirror and cap and tax apparently back on the Senate road map, Rockefeller is among a sizeable group of Dems torn between what’s best for their own states (not to mention careers) and a key platform of their heavily-leftist-controlled party.

But Rockefeller’s is a particularly unenviable position.

According to the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training, coal is responsible for more than $3.5 billion of the gross state product and approximately $70 million in property taxes annually.  The coal industry and utility companies making electricity using West Virginia coal account for two-thirds of the business taxes paid in the state. Add statewide unemployment looming around 11% to the mix, and the five-term Senator knows that voting for coal-killing cap and tax would be political suicide.

That’s why he co-sponsored legislation that would delay for two years any EPA regulation of greenhouse emissions from stationary sources – such as coal-fired power plants.  

And his butt-covering antics didn’t end there. According to the Wheeling News-Register, Rockefeller told yesterday’s crowd that some of the West Virginians’ hostility toward cap and trade is born of widespread ignorance, even amongst law-making politicians:
"I will tell you that there are not 10 percent of people in Congress, either house, that can give you three paragraphs that make any sense on what cap and trade is.  A lot of the phone calls I get refer to 'captain trade,' but I don't blame anybody for that."

Captain trade?  Just perfect.  As was the helping of double-talk Rockefeller used to explain his own understanding of cap and tax’s merits:
"It can be good or it can be bad.  If it is not good, I'm going to vote against it, and I may vote against it anyway unless it helps and preserves West Virginia's coal status."

Of course, that’s as absurd a promise as one to oppose pro-abortion legislation unless it helps and preserves human life. 

More likely he’s already posturing for a sleazy deal to exempt users of West Virginian coal from Waxman-Markey -- or its purported successor’s -- emission caps.    

In a now famous March 9th press release, Speaker Pelosi said “we have to pass the [healthcare] bill so that you can find out what is in it.”  Rockefeller’s admission that no one really understands the key component of the energy bill -- and thereby the economic havoc it will unquestionably wreak -- makes clear that Congress has become even more akin to the old TV show Let’s Make a Deal than previously imagined. 

Not only are players greedily trading away their integrity, but they have absolutely no idea just what it is behind curtain number two that they’ve bargained for. 


Senator Jay Rockefeller told a group of constituents yesterday that 9 in 10 legislators have absolutely no idea how Cap and Trade actually works. That’s quite an admission, particularly considering that 219 – all but 8 of them Democrats -- successfully voted to pass the Waxman-Markey Cap and Trade Bill in the House last June.

The West Virginia Democrat’s confession came when he returned home to reassure voters that he will continue to fight for the state’s indispensible coal industry.  With health care in the rearview mirror and cap and tax apparently back on the Senate road map, Rockefeller is among a sizeable group of Dems torn between what’s best for their own states (not to mention careers) and a key platform of their heavily-leftist-controlled party.

But Rockefeller’s is a particularly unenviable position.

According to the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training, coal is responsible for more than $3.5 billion of the gross state product and approximately $70 million in property taxes annually.  The coal industry and utility companies making electricity using West Virginia coal account for two-thirds of the business taxes paid in the state. Add statewide unemployment looming around 11% to the mix, and the five-term Senator knows that voting for coal-killing cap and tax would be political suicide.

That’s why he co-sponsored legislation that would delay for two years any EPA regulation of greenhouse emissions from stationary sources – such as coal-fired power plants.  

And his butt-covering antics didn’t end there. According to the Wheeling News-Register, Rockefeller told yesterday’s crowd that some of the West Virginians’ hostility toward cap and trade is born of widespread ignorance, even amongst law-making politicians:
"I will tell you that there are not 10 percent of people in Congress, either house, that can give you three paragraphs that make any sense on what cap and trade is.  A lot of the phone calls I get refer to 'captain trade,' but I don't blame anybody for that."

Captain trade?  Just perfect.  As was the helping of double-talk Rockefeller used to explain his own understanding of cap and tax’s merits:
"It can be good or it can be bad.  If it is not good, I'm going to vote against it, and I may vote against it anyway unless it helps and preserves West Virginia's coal status."

Of course, that’s as absurd a promise as one to oppose pro-abortion legislation unless it helps and preserves human life. 

More likely he’s already posturing for a sleazy deal to exempt users of West Virginian coal from Waxman-Markey -- or its purported successor’s -- emission caps.    

In a now famous March 9th press release, Speaker Pelosi said “we have to pass the [healthcare] bill so that you can find out what is in it.”  Rockefeller’s admission that no one really understands the key component of the energy bill -- and thereby the economic havoc it will unquestionably wreak -- makes clear that Congress has become even more akin to the old TV show Let’s Make a Deal than previously imagined. 

Not only are players greedily trading away their integrity, but they have absolutely no idea just what it is behind curtain number two that they’ve bargained for. 


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