Sanity in the Main Stream Media
Hot air on warming
In their global warming bill, Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) have delivered to Congress an incomplete script. It’s like “Hamlet” without the prince.
The 821-page aggregation of environmentalist dreams, rhetoric and directives would mandate grants and demonstration projects galore, and set up targets right and left. It would even grant a few unrelated favors, such as authority for cities to set their own mileage standards for taxicabs. (That the bill wouldn’t solve the cabbies’ basic problem of having to buy and insure new hybrids seems not to bother the senators.)
The cap-and-trade scheme by which large emitters could buy emissions rights from other emitters is similar to the one in the House bill sponsored by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.). Both bills target a reduction in warming emissions of 83 percent by 2050.
But the Kerry-Boxer bill never specifies how initial emission rights are to be distributed. Waxman-Markey would distribute most initial rights free to various classes of emitters chosen to attract votes in the House, with auctions for about one-sixth of the total.
The strategic logic of Boxer and Kerry escapes us. Perhaps they think an allocation plan offered at the last minute would scrape by opponents.
Congress will shackle the economy if it succeeds in acting against the dubious threat of disastrous global warming on the increasingly shaky theory that unchecked emissions of carbon dioxide must be curbed. The effects of Boxer-Kerry, if passed, cannot be far different from Waxman-Markey: A reduction in average global temperature in 2050 of 0.09 degree Fahrenheit at an annual cost that could reach $1,791 per household.
Some senators say the Senate will be too busy to act this year. And that is the best thing we can hope for.