Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Indiana Governor On Carbon Cap and Trade

Indiana governor Mitch Daniels wrote a scathing critique of the proposed carbon mitigation plan in the Wall Street Journal One fear of implementing a carbon cap and trade in the U.S. is the potential to disproportionaly drive up electricity costs in states such as Indiana which rely almost entirely on coal as their primary source. It could also have huge effects on middle to lower income people, which is the last thing the country needs at this tme. The Waxman-Markey Bill considers these possibilities in its' proposed allowance allocation "Local electric distribution companies, whose rates are regulated by the states, will receive 30% of the allowances, which they must use to protect consumers from electricity price increases." As for hurting the pocket-books of those less well off financially:"15% of allowances will be auctioned each year and the proceeds of these allowances will be distributed to low- and moderate-income families to protect them from other energy cost increases. These allowances will be distributed through tax credits, direct payments, and electronic benefit payments and will not phase out."
Another problem Daniel's states in the Journal article is "This bill would impose enormous taxes and restrictions on free commerce by wealthy but faltering powers -- California, Massachusetts and New York -- seeking to exploit politically weaker colonies..." The governor even calls these states "imperialists". This, as pointed out very well by Dr. Bill Chameides' Huffington Post Response, is laughable, considering the federal funding Indiana recieves.
All this talk it neglecting the one issue on my mind, which is individual empowerment over one's own energy use and costs. The real "imperialism" element is the lack of feed-in-tariffs or other consumer protection measures in the bill. The "imperialists" will once again be the utility companies and the entire government itself without such provisions. Daniels wants to simplify a complex issue to scare Hoosiers away from carbon mitigation and Democrats who support it. With Secretary Chu himself reportedly saying we will reach 450ppm, our future may indeed be bleak without action!

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