We're receiving word that the next three weeks -- prior to Congress' summer recess -- represents the Democrats' best chance at getting a climate change bill passed this year. Senate leaders are working overtime on this contentious issue to try to cobble together a piece of legislation that will muster the votes.
The House passed its own version of this legislation last summer in the form of a 1,201-page bill, complete with a 300-page addendum, entitled the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, a.k.a. "cap-and-trade."
At the time, House Republican Leader John Boehner described the bill by stating, "People need to know what's in this pile of s-it."
Following the bill's quick passage, I took a cue from Mr. Boehner and, holding my nose, dissected key portions of the document, which I then shared with readers of American Thinker prior to incorporating it all into my book, Climategate.
Some of the stinkier elements of the bill include the "Monthly Energy Refund," which I refer to as "The Monthly Bribe." According to this scheme, for those with a gross income that "does not exceed 150 percent of the poverty line ... a direct deposit" of an undisclosed amount of money will be sent "into the eligible household's designated bank account[.]" Seems to me this payoff proves the authors of the bill are anticipating a huge cost of living increase due to the multitude of taxes and fees on all things energy. The Democrats are treating Americans like cheap whores.
Then there's the "Low Income Community Energy Efficiency Program," whereby grants will be issued "to increase the flow of capital and benefits to low income communities, minority-owned and woman-owned businesses and entrepreneurs[.]" Sounds like more spreading the wealth around to me.
Then there's the massive loss of jobs that's sure to follow any climate change bill. Whatever the Senate attempts to accomplish will surely include something similar to the House's 83-percent cut in greenhouse emissions by the year 2050. According to the Census Bureau, by 2050 there will be approximately 100 million more people in the United States. To accomplish such a gargantuan greenhouse gas reduction, America's manufacturing sector will virtually be swept to countries that will get a pass from United Nation's climate treaties (China, India, Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam, Russia). The coal industry will also vanish (coal currently powers 50 percent of homes in the U.S.). Even livestock and dairy production will likely go south of the border, as the piles of dung produced by cows are loaded with methane and carbon dioxide. According to the House bill, this monstrous transfer of or economy overseas will be smoothed over by giving the "adversely affected worker" 70 percent of his prior weekly wage, "payable for a period not longer than 156 weeks." In addition, the unemployed worker can submit up to $1,500 in job search reimbursements and get another $1,500 to cover his moving expenses.
And then there are the new federally mandated building codes, which will supersede local rules and regulations. The new codes will be enforced by what I've termed "the green goon squad." These EPA badge-wearing G-Men will be funded through global warming revenues procured through the cap-and-trade scheme, as well as by $25 million designated annually from the Department of Energy "to provide necessary enforcement of a national energy efficiency building code[.]"
Meantime, back in the Senate, Harry Reid is working this week with key committee leaders to concoct a scaled-down version of the House bill in order to garner the 60 votes required for passage. The options will break down into three new "piles."
The first will be a response to the Gulf gusher, to reform offshore drilling and raise disaster liabilities on oil companies.
The second mound will be a phony nod to renewable energy advocates. This item will likely require a boost in renewable electricity produced by wind and solar. A version of this was sponsored by Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) last year and requires 11 percent of the nation's energy to be derived from renewables.
The third heap will involve setting a cap on greenhouse emissions and pricing carbon dioxide on an exchange. This will probably be scaled so that initially, you won't notice it too much (it will probably start with a cap on emissions from oil refineries and coal and natural gas electrical generating facilities). Eventually the Democrats hope you'll get used to the smell as the caps and taxes blossom in size and scope.
Now, let's recall how the game is played in the Beltway. Whatever the Senate passes -- no matter how scaled down it may seem -- will be quickly merged with the House bill and brought to a vote. Hmmm, perhaps on the Friday prior to the long recess?
The final version of the bill is sure to be an economy-wrecking, non-energy-producing monster that will smell a just a noxious as that pile Mr. Boehner referred to.