AIP column: The cap-and-trade 3-card Monty

Earlier this week, I asked “Cui bono?” on the allocation of emissions credits from the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill.  senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) wants to know the same thing.  An EPA analysis showed that the pattern or emissions credits favor coastal states much more than Midwestern and Rust Belt states, and Wisconsin’s Feingold has already objected to it as disastrous for his state and the region.

For this week’s AIP column, I dug deeper into the numbers and found that the pattern is even more pronounced than first thought:

The table from the EPA analysis shows the current assumed emissions of each state and the allocation of emission credits for 2012.  In Waxman-Markey, the formula supposedly used to derive this weighs emissions and load equally to determine which state gets how many credits, in millions of tons, for emissions for the year 2012, when the system takes effect.  States that need to emit more would have to buy carbon credits from other states willing to sell excess credits.

So who would need to buy those credits?  Seventeen states have at least 25% of their current emissions stripped from them in this process, again in millions of tons of carbon emissions:

Twelve states lose no emissions credit at all, one loses less than 5%, and two actually get more credits than their current emissions require:

Why does this matter?  States that need to emit more have to buy credits.  States that emit less than their allocation can sell credits.  This plan does nothing more than force some states to send cash to other states, and cui bono? Why, it’s California, Henry Waxman’s state.

Read the whole post.  While you’re at AIP, catch up with all of my colleagues.  Kim Priestap wants Obama to know that Americans don’t want a grand transformation.  Lorie Byrd wonders about presidential priorities.  Matt Margolis offers his strategy for 2010 and 2012.

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David Strom 8:41 PM on January 30, 2023