Waxman-markey is Really a Command-and-control Energy Bill? No, Say It Ain’t So!

Lynne Kiesling

While we’re on a carbon note … [sarcasm] yeah, I’m shocked, really, totally shocked that, as Virginia Postrel notes, the 946-page Waxman-Markey House energy bill proposal is really a piece of command-and-control legislation.[/sarcasm]

The WaPost notes that the “cap-and-trade” bill sponsored by Henry Waxman and Edward Markey is, in fact, loaded with all sorts of direct federal regulation of a decidedly dictatorial command-and-control nature.

Virginia goes on to point out the most disturbing thing, which is the idea that provisions are being inserted into the bill with the expectation that most members of Congress will not read what they are going to vote on. And this Washington Post article provides some more details on how much lobbying and special interest money is being directed at modifying, crafting, and word-smithing the bill to ensure that the economic effects go to those interests who expend resources to develop political capital:

But as the legislation’s chances improve, corporations, environmentalists and other interest groups have worked to put their imprint on the bill. The Center for Public Integrity said its review of Senate disclosure records showed that more than 880 businesses and interest groups have registered to lobby on climate change in the first quarter of 2009 — up more than 14 percent over the same time last year.

The groups include coal companies, investment banks, wind and solar firms, state governments, auditing firms and technology companies that might be part of the proposed trading system for carbon. An item inserted at the behest of Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.) would give the auto industry $1.4 billion worth of extra allowances starting in 2012 when the cap-and-trade system takes effect, according to an estimate by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

[sarcasm]Yeah, I feel really confident in political processes. I’m sure that this political process will serve the interests of science, economic efficiency, and the environment. And I feel really, really well-represented in this process.[/sarcasm]

3 thoughts on “Waxman-markey is Really a Command-and-control Energy Bill? No, Say It Ain’t So!

  1. House members are elected specifically to represent the interests of their own constituents not “science, economic efficiency, and the environment”. You may argue (persuasively) that they are not doing a good job of representing either. However these officials are elected by voters, not “stakeholders”, and maintained in office by same.

  2. Seriously. The Congress should have a page limit. It’s frickin ridiculous! I’ll wager that >50% of the “cost” of climate change will be due to regulatory burden and distortions!

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