The closer that the Waxman-Markey energy planning bill gets to the floor of the House of Representatives, the more convoluted and intellectually absurd it becomes. The cap-and-trade provision is getting the most attention, but there is so much more that deserves criticism. Jerry Taylor, for example, has exposed the “Clean Energy Bank” provision (buried in Subtitle J) as an open-ended piggybank for uneconomic, politically correct energies.
As I blogged at the Enterprise Blog yesterday, a provision of HR 2454 would forbid EPA to proceed with a ruling about how foreign land-clearing would be taken into account when calculating ethanol’s carbon footprint. Instead, EPA is forced into a 5-year moratorium to “study” the issue. Amazing, EPA does an endangerment finding in a few months but has to “study” this single, relatively well-understood issue for 5 years. Now that is science suppression!
There are other perversities of Waxman-Markey. Analysts at the Breakthrough Institute continue to dig into the ramifications of the bill, and keep finding nuggets of madness. As I blogged earlier at MasterResource, they’ve already found that Waxman-Markey isn’t actually a cap as in a maximum from which absolute reductions follow. Emissions are actually allowed to rise through 2030.
More recently though, they’ve found an EPA report showing that Waxman-Markey is likely to result in less renewable energy production rather than more. As Breakthrough explained:
The Waxman-Markey climate bill (AKA the American Clean Energy and Security Act) would reduce the amount of renewable energy deployed in the United States relative to business-as-usual, increase the amount of coal-fired electricity generation relative to 2005 levels, and provide no incentive for a move to cleaner cars, according to a new analysis by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
EPA’s modeling finds that under its business as usual scenario, electricity-generating capacity from renewable energy sources like wind, solar and geothermal would grow from 36 GW in 2005 to 40 GW in 2020 and to 43 GW in 2025. But under Waxman Markey legislation, renewable generating capacity would grow to 39 GW in 2020 and 41 GW in 2025.
EPA blames this downturn on the relatively low carbon price that Waxman-Markey is expected to levy, as well as to reduced energy demand due to the Waxman-Markey energy efficiency provisions.
So, what’s the score on Waxman-Markey? No environmental benefits; continued growth of GHG emissions; higher energy prices; greater governmental controls over the entire energy sector; a blizzard of new standards that will affect consumer choice in housing, consumer products, transportation, lighting, heating, cooling, and refrigerating; reduced economic growth; and attendant job losses, all in the teeth of one of the worst recessions in American history.
What a great prequel to the healthcare debate!