Nonpartisan Proof: Cap-and-Trade Is an Economy-Killer

Last week, in what the National Academy of Sciences declared "the most comprehensive report ever on climate change," three studies requested by Congress were unfurled, providing sweeping proposals for an aggressive federally based strategy to deal with climate change.

Bold actions are necessary because "climate change is occurring, the Earth is warming ... concentrations of carbon dioxide are increasing, and there are very clear fingerprints that link [those effects] to humans," said Pamela A. Matson of Stanford University, co-chair of the studies and the subsequent report to Congress.

The report was ordered by congressional Democrats who want climate change legislation passed and signed into law this year. Both the House climate bill (passed last year) and the pending Senate version call for the trading of carbon credits, as well as heavy taxes on businesses that emit greenhouse gases in order to supposedly cool the planet. The Senate is expected to renew debate on the issue later this summer.

However, a just-released report assembled by the nonpartisan Peterson Institute for International Economics confirms my long-held contention: The pending climate change bill will be an economic bust for America by killing jobs and raising prices for virtually everything.

The Peterson Institute's report focuses on Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Lieberman's (I-CT) bill, The American Power Act. Overall, Peterson's eighteen-page synopsis of the bill definitely leans green. For example, the reports states, "Climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for -- and in many cases is already affecting -- a broad range of human and natural systems."

Those of you who have read my book Climategate, as well as my multiple missives on American Thinker, know I wholeheartedly disagree with the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis.

Besides believing that humans are altering the climate, the Peterson report recommends that a single federal entity or program be given the authority and resources to coordinate a national, multidisciplinary research effort aimed at improving both understanding and responding to climate change. 

In other words, the nonpartisan report contends that government is the solution to the problem.

Nonetheless -- and surprisingly -- the report states that if the Kerry-Lieberman bill should become law, there will be net job losses and higher energy and product prices.

The Peterson analysis neatly buries those findings after stating that 203,000 new green jobs will be created each year for a decade. Specifically, the report states the net employment losses will be due to "the jobs lost in fossil fuel production and as a result of higher energy prices between 2011 and 2020. In the second decade of the program [2020-2030], higher energy and product prices offset the employment gains from new investment."

Translation: Yes, there will be new so-called "green" jobs that will include government bureaucrats hired to shuffle papers and enforce new green building codes, construction jobs to retrofit buildings, installers for solar panels, etc. However, there will be more jobs lost than gained should the bill become law.  

To review: Both the House and Senate climate change bills plan on scaling back CO2 emissions 17 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050. According to United States Census figures, the population of the U.S. will increase by thirty million by 2020 and by 100 million by 2050. So where will the cuts come from? From America's coal industry, which will be shuttered; from our manufacturing sector, which will be moved offshore; and from our livestock industry, which will also be sent abroad.

Do you see what's about to occur? Good jobs will be lost. That's why in the House version of the bill, a provision ensures that if your job is shipped overseas, you are eligible for three years of unemployment compensation at 70% of your pay, plus retraining and relocation expenses. The intent is to pacify your anger with a three-year paid vacation. In the Senate version of the bill, the unemployment benefits are cleverly tied into an Internal Revenue Code entitled the "empowerment zone employment credit."

The Peterson reports also notes that by forcing the price of energy upward (which is what both the House and Senate bills will do), Americans will be forced to use less energy:

By placing a price on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, providing incentives for low-carbon sources of energy supply and improving the efficiency of energy use through a range of mechanisms, the American Power Act would substantially alter the way energy is produced and consumed in the United States.

By pricing carbon, the American Power Act raises the cost of fossil fuels, prompting firms and consumers to improve the efficiency with which they use energy or switch to low-carbon sources of energy supply.

Households will also face higher prices for non-energy goods as the firms producing them face higher energy costs.

To compensate for this additional cost of living, both the House and Senate versions of the bill present consumer handouts in the form of direct deposits from Uncle Sam into the bank account of lower wage-earners. In the case of the Senate bill, a family of four making $55,000 a year will receive a monthly cash deposit into their bank account to offset their increased cost of living. 

Sounds like socialism to me, but then again, I've never believed this bill was about the environment. It's an attempt to spread the wealth around, allow a few investors to make huge amounts off of money off cap-and-trade, and -- more importantly-- take away the liberty of the American people. When the government is able to control how much energy we consume, they have an additional tool with which to control our lives.

Brian Sussman is author of the book Climategate: a veteran meteorologist exposes the global warming scam, and he hosts the morning show on KSFO radio in San Francisco.
If you experience technical problems, please write to