Welcome to PatsFans.com

Explanation of the cap and trade bill

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Patters, Jun 27, 2009.

  1. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    18,182
    Likes Received:
    199
    Ratings:
    +291 / 12 / -10

    Here's a good explanation of what this issue is about. In my view, if the bill passes the Senate and gets signed into law, investments in alternative energy will skyrocket. It will lead to the sort of opportunities provided by the internet. One of the reasons that spending got us out of the Great Depression was because WWII created a huge reconstruction market. If things play out as hoped, then we will develop some great technologies, bringing real change into our homes, and sell those technologies around the world. The right wing of the conservatives in the Republican Party have painted a doom and gloom scenario. But, honestly, I find their argument very unconvincing because I think alternative energy is ready to take off as a business sector and as a technology that will catch on big-time once it's cost-saving.

    But again, this is a good straightforward explanation of what the climate bill is supposed to do:

    The Associated Press: Questions and answers about the US climate bill
     
  2. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Messages:
    20,674
    Likes Received:
    311
    Ratings:
    +609 / 7 / -7

    I'm sorry, Patters, but this bill looks beyond next Wednesday. I can't comprehend it.
     
  3. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    31,656
    Likes Received:
    221
    Ratings:
    +530 / 13 / -14

    #24 Jersey

    We could have done that with our idiot president's $1+T spending bill but instead we're building tunnels for turtles.
     
  4. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    27,199
    Likes Received:
    236
    Ratings:
    +574 / 6 / -2

    Here's an easy explanation that everyone should be able to understand:

    MORE BS TAXE$.

    Now, that was easy. :D
     
  5. ljuneau

    ljuneau Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,286
    Likes Received:
    3
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0

    Pipe dream. Cheap "green" alternative energy does not yet exist. What the government is basically attempting is to manipulate the market to make oil, gas, and coal more expensive so that other more expensive energies appear more affordable. Centralized market manipulation = Historically proven economic disasters.

    Lowers our GDP, makes us less competitive globally, makes the price of everything more expensive, destroys jobs (especially manufacturing and agriculture), just to name a few.

    If this biggest tax hike ever passes, prepare for higher unemployment, an extended recession - possible depression, and anything you buy become more expensive - prorgressively towards 2012.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2009
  6. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    18,182
    Likes Received:
    199
    Ratings:
    +291 / 12 / -10

    BF, I think we are simply using our economic muscle to power an overhaul of the economy. If our economy collapses, the world economy collapses and we have a Great Depression that would probably put the likes you and me out of work and make our savings worthless. To me, the idea of greasing the wheels of capitalism with massive deficit spending makes sense. It's just a matter of time before it generates the sort of economic excitement that sparks the global economy.

    As far as the initial burst of spending, that was done to put the breaks on the economic slide. It cost a lot of money, but it seems to have done so.
     
  7. ljuneau

    ljuneau Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,286
    Likes Received:
    3
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0


    The government greasing the wheels of capitalism? In one statement you contradict yourself. The best thing is for the government to stay out of the way. The more manipulating they do, the worst things will get.

    Not it hasn't. The "stimulus" has done nothing but build a mountain of debt for us, our children, and grandchildren. It will make things worse in the long-term.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2009
  8. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    31,656
    Likes Received:
    221
    Ratings:
    +530 / 13 / -14

    #24 Jersey

    The initial burst was less than 10% of the total. It didn't put a stop to the slide, the economy just bottomed out the way it naturally does. We still have almost all the money unspent and it could be used for alternative energy. In reality they're keeping the money to throw around before next year's midterms.
     
  9. ljuneau

    ljuneau Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,286
    Likes Received:
    3
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0

    Good point! I'd also add, that we really don't know if we actually have hit the bottom yet. If cap and trade passes, then the floor will drop lower.
     
  10. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    31,656
    Likes Received:
    221
    Ratings:
    +530 / 13 / -14

    #24 Jersey

    The main problem with the stimulus is it's being spent on one off projects. It creates jobs but once the work is done the jobs are gone. The only way the stimulus would "work" would be to create jobs that would build upon themseleves. Not happening.

    As I've said before, my stimulus would have been :

    - HUGE spending on Manhattan Project type thing for alternative energy. This creates a huge amount of White Collar jobs.

    - HUGE spending to convert lots of vehicles and gas stations/pipelines to Natural Gas. This creates a huge amount of Blue Collar jobs.

    When it's done, we would have a lot of vehicles running on cheaper, cleaner energy that is underneath our land. And the Manhattan Project types would be developing something even cleaner for later. THAT would create jobs, clean the air and create ONGOING economic benefits.
     
  11. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Messages:
    20,674
    Likes Received:
    311
    Ratings:
    +609 / 7 / -7

    It strikes me, BF, that you and our beloved leader have precisely the same aims: To create jobs, to spark interest in renewables (the dollars and cents kind of interest, not the "isn't that interesting?" kind,) and to thereby combine two of our biggest potential "losses" into "wins." (Clean energy jobs, solutions to energy problems.) So far so good.

    The difference here is that Obama's proposed use of cap-and-trade uses market mechanisms, whereas you believe you have a better way of creating a tremendous amount of work, spending a tremendous amount of money, and creating a tremendous new economic sector -- renewables -- all of which was not there before.

    Basically, for your approach you would need taxation, to fund your "manhattan project" of renewable energy research. The "research" would still have to come up with alternatives more attractive to fossil fuels, and in a fast enough way to rapidly replace fossil fuels. I do not understand how that would happen, except by wishing on a star ("b/c we call it a 'manhattan project' it would come up with an economically superior -- in the short-term -- competitor for fossil fuels...?)

    In the short term, fossil fuels win, unless we interfere w/the market as it stands and (as Patters says) grease the proverbial skids. The markets do not know if ice caps are melting, except as reflected by land, mineral, and drilling speculation in what's now permafrost, or speculative bets on the northwest passage. The markets do not care if the go-juice funnels American wealth to South America and Asia, in the form of foreign oil sales.

    By the time fossil fuels lose, our whole society is stuck in a degraded environment, with a fossil-fuel dependent outlook, and the go-juice running out. I guess we both get that.

    But how does one encourage what is NOW an economically non-viable energy source, without government involvement?

    I think even your approach admits that the government's involvement is necessary in this particular instance. But that being the case, why is it any more palateable to pursue natural gas vehicles and a huge cash dump into an undefined "research" project?

    The problem isn't that we have not yet discovered alternatives; the problem is that they aren't in production.

    So taxpayer money gets spent either way. The pure market mechanism is "perverted" either way.

    What's wrong with cap-and-trade that isn't also wrong with your few lines of "alternative" plan?

    PFnV
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2009
  12. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    31,656
    Likes Received:
    221
    Ratings:
    +530 / 13 / -14

    #24 Jersey

    Once the Stimulus money was authorized, my plan would cost nothing as it could have been funded wholly out of the $1T. Instead they're wasting it.

    I have said for a few years now that the only tax I would vote for would be to get us off of oil; but it would have to be direct spending not some Cap & Trade BS that is a tax with absolutely no responsibility for developing alternatives.
     
  13. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    18,182
    Likes Received:
    199
    Ratings:
    +291 / 12 / -10

    You have a different belief system, one that led to far more recession than we have today in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and that led to the Great Depression. The fact is the government has been heavily involved in managing our economic systems regardless of Party. Even Ronald Reagan spent $500 billion that we didn't have to alleviate the Carter recession.

    The economy seems to have stabilized, and the stimulus money seems to be timed so that it will be released during a period of state government retrenchment. If that's so, then we have just about hit bottom and soon the economy will start moving again. From what I've read, economists are predicting the turnaround to start in 2010.
     
  14. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    18,182
    Likes Received:
    199
    Ratings:
    +291 / 12 / -10

    I should have said the stimulus and the bailouts. Let's face it, we've certainly pumped close to a trillion into the economy, if you include guarantees and things. That's a substantial amount of money. Also, whether you agree or not, it's pretty impressive how we stopped AIG and the auto industry from becoming permanently festering wounds. It seems like the Obama team's policies have brought a lot of stability to a number of unstable markets. And I do agree that states will use some of the stimulus money to some degree politically, but that's not necessarily bad, for it could mean building a community center, a senior citizen's center, or a library.
     
  15. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    31,656
    Likes Received:
    221
    Ratings:
    +530 / 13 / -14

    #24 Jersey

    We made the auto industry into a permanently festering wound. That problem is not solved, it's just been bought by the government.
     
  16. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Messages:
    20,674
    Likes Received:
    311
    Ratings:
    +609 / 7 / -7

    I really think we're in that rare moment-of-possible-agreement territory, although we differ on the "hows."

    So the difference here is:

    You say that you could fund your approach out of the money spent on the stimulus bill (all of which is not yet, by the way, spent. It is all allocated -- but I have no doubt it will be spent.)

    So let's set aside the stimulus bill and talk about energy. Let's just say we disagree on the outcomes thus far of the stimulus bill.

    So this next phase is "energy/stimulus 2": the Obama Plan vs. The BFan Plan.

    The pros of what you favor are:

    - You say you could "do it" within a previous stimulus bill, which you price at $1T of tax money. (I don't want to put words in your mouth. How much of $1T would you need?)
    - Obviously we would not pay more for current consumption of fossil-fuel dependent electricity or direct burning of fossil fuels in vehicles. So each individual pays through your taxation proposal, but not at the pump or when the electric bill comes.

    I do not disagree that these are "pro"s, especially in our current financial position. Making go-juice cost more, in terms of the existing infrastructure, guarantees short-term pain, in direct proportion to the amount of fossil fuels you use.

    The cons of what you favor are:
    - There is no market mechanism by which your natural-gas-burning cars or research outcomes would prevail against fossil fuels.
    - There is no (apparent) reason to believe we would all go out and invest in renewables that are not likely to be money-makers
    - In short, the problem does not have a very good chance of getting solved (i.e., need for jobs, need for a robust renewables sector.)

    On the Obama end of the "tail of the tape", the pros:

    - There is a market mechanism that favors producers of clean energy
    - There is therefore a very robust incentive to become involved in a green energy sector (in addition to "little" incentives -- with costs in the billions -- in terms of tax incentives.)
    - i.e., so we're clear: It costs a whole lot to burn fossil fuels or purchase those fuels. You need to buy (let's say) a windmill to make cheap energy, and windmills cost money. But you can sell your carbon credits, and sell back your excess electricity. That defrays the infrastructure cost. Over X years, it's a better deal than paying your electric bills. AS REGARDS THE PROS of this, the proposal makes X smaller.

    And the cons:

    - We immediately pay more for energy derived from fossil fuels. That means immediate higher electricity costs, continuing until we are producing clean energy as cheaply as we use to produce "dirty" energy (or more accurately, as cheaply as we "would be" producing it at that time.)
    - Industries reliant on low energy costs would be under immediate pressure. This would generate a class of those who can compete with a lower carbon footprint, and those who cannot.
    - It's quite possible that trying to steer toward renewable energy and sustainable growth, long-term, will result in job loss in the short term, creating a grisly short-term prospectus.

    I think this is a fair comparison, and I know I favor the proposal on the table, but I do not do so without reservations.

    The conversion of the entire society and its industry to renewable energy is an enormous undertaking. The use of a cap-and-trade system, as huge as its impact may look, is intended to take us (along with every other measure currently being talked about,) to 25% renewable energy use.

    Nevertheless, that is making a dent in the problem -- and long-term, encouraging a whole new real growth sector (and not a paper one.)

    Having seen how effectively this problem was kicked down the road after the mid-70s oil shock, I am convinced we have pretty much ignored our obligations for 35 years. We're poked around with a tax credit here, a research grant there. Had we not done so, what we are doing to get to 25% renewables by 2025 might have been spread over a "first gear" ramp-up for 30 years... and we'd be ahead of the game. But see, we didn't do that.

    A great number -- a proponderance, in fact -- of experts say that now's the time, for a variety of reasons (the scarcity of fossil fuels, the state of the environment at present.) It so happens that this will likely be a near-term economic wash at best -- but a long-term economic boon.

    PFnV
     
  17. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    31,656
    Likes Received:
    221
    Ratings:
    +530 / 13 / -14

    #24 Jersey

    It's too late for me, obama has shot his wad on spending already. He gets no more support from me for spending of any kind.
     
  18. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Messages:
    20,674
    Likes Received:
    311
    Ratings:
    +609 / 7 / -7

    You're pretty good with scale, although we always come to different conclusions, and when we argue math we have both dropped zeroes here and there but at least admit it.

    Take a look at what it would take to get from point A (nearly all fossil fuels) to point B (all renewables or mainly renewables.)

    You've stated that's the goal. Well think it through. I don't get how you get there in your fraction of $1T, spent on research.

    So is that really a goal? Let's get off whether Obama's right. I mean, forget cap-and-trade. How else can we get to large-scale production of renewable energy?

    PS, I am with you (I think we've both said this) that nuclear's unavoidable in the short term. But what else gets us there?

    What would your manhattan project be researching?

    What part of the system could be put in production in the near future, and what is the mechanism by which it coud achieve production at the scale where economies of scale kick in?

    PFnV
     
  19. PatsWSB47

    PatsWSB47 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Messages:
    7,887
    Likes Received:
    88
    Ratings:
    +175 / 0 / -0

    #12 Jersey

    What if you can barely pay your electric and heat bill now?
    Do you put these bills on credit cards?

    Will the number of people who need assistance multiply to the point that states already on Goverment life support force them into needing more bailots?


    I'm all for green energy but I honestly don't know how to achieve that goal.
     
  20. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Messages:
    20,674
    Likes Received:
    311
    Ratings:
    +609 / 7 / -7

    Sb42, the wife & I were discussing this aspect last night. I absolutely agree, that whatever hits your pocketbook hits you harder the poorer you are.

    I absolutely agree that is not fair. If 1/4 of all my money goes to energy, and 1/100th of yours goes to energy, it's not fair that energy prices go up in a vacuum. For that matter, it would add to homelessness and other big events we define as slipping from "the edge" to "off the edge."

    So again, let's set that aside as another problem that must be addressed if it costs more for power. Bear in mind all the negative estimates talk about energy costs that go higher over decades... but I also bear in mind there might be an immediate sharp spike.

    (of course we don't mind speculation-driven spikes in oil consumption, but that's another subject.)

    So, if we address the problem of energy cost increases pushing people over into poverty (and meaningfully solve that problem for many,) on the way to getting off the oil IV, do we want to do it? (Free outselves from dependency on fossil fuels)?

    If so, how do we get there in terms of a large-scale, long-term economic shift?

    And again, forget cap and trade. Is there any other way we can disincentivize fossil fuels, that would not generate these problems? The usual mechanism is to make such fuels expensive, and to make it inexpensive to create the other type of power, i.e., renewables.

    What other mechanisms exist? I would not favor something like marching in soldiers, or for that matter artificial rationing approaches.

    Is there anything wrong with our goal (getting off fossil fuels in favor of renewables)? Is there a better way to make it happen?

    PFnV
     

Share This Page

unset ($sidebar_block_show); ?>