“I expect all the bad consequences from the chambers of Commerce and manufacturers establishing in different parts of this country, which your Grace seems to foresee…. The regulations of Commerce are commonly dictated by those who are most interested to deceive and impose upon the Public.”
– Adam Smith, 1785 letter. In The Correspondence of Adam Smith. (1)
The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (H.R. 2454, aka Waxman–Markey) was narrowly adopted by the House of Representatives on June 26. As has become standard practice, few legislators were familiar with the final 1,428-page bill, given all the horse-trading hours before the final vote.
Waxman–Markey was a low point in the political process, but what made passage possible was worse: highly organized support from some quarters of the electric utility industry and a lack of protestation from much of the rest.…