Friday, May 29, 2009

How soft will Obama go on cap-and-trade?

Needless to say, I have been less than thrilled with Obama's environmental action. But it's just getting worse.

Now, the White House is softening up on its proposed cap-and-trade system, and is opening up the possibility of giving industries some emissions permits for free.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

President Barack Obama last month backed away from pressing for 100% auction of emission credits, telling the Business Roundtable that it wasn't politically feasible. The president's science adviser said in an interview with the Washington Post Wednesday that a climate bill didn't necessarily have to start with 100% auction, but could work its way there over time. full article

Is a sub-par system better than no system? Will an 100% auction be achieved over time? I'm very skeptical. While I am upset with Obama, let's also consider his position.

Michael Barone from US News considers the percentage of electricity produced by coal in each state above the national average and concludes:

Do the math. That leaves only 32 Democratic senators from less-than-average coal-reliant states and only 157 Democratic House members from less-than-average coal-reliant states. Now I'm not saying that every member from such states will vote against cap-and-trade, but I think an awful lot would. And I don't think many Republicans are going to vote for cap-and-trade. In his press conference last night, Barack Obama seemed to accept the Senate Budget Committee's Democrats' decision to jettison the money for cap-and-trade and expressed a wistful hope that something might be done later. But even in better economic times, the numbers tend to work against any such proposal. full article

Considering the complications of this environmental mess, the legislative process, state variance in energy reliance, and Obama's eco-performance that continues to miss the mark, The Colonic will begin an Obama Watch: The Environment. (Note: I'm still traveling, this won't be up and running at my usual pace)

While pointing the finger is difficult in this situation, considering the environment and the recent gay marriage uproar sparked in California, it's clear that the only thing Obama will take a strong stance on is giving away billions of dollars to failing industries and "stimulating" the economy.

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