Cap-and-Trade = Mega-Billion Tax, No Matter How It's Sliced
Washington, D.C., September 17, 2009 - Internal Treasury Department documents released this week confirm the Obama administration’s expectations for a nationwide global warming “cap and trade” plan. The documents were obtained by CEI Senior Fellow Christopher Horner through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Internally, Treasury indicates it expects that the sort of plan that the president is calling for – a plan that either immediately auctions off carbon dioxide emission permits or sells nearly all after a few years of giving industry most of its permits for free – would bring from $100-200 billion per year in revenue for the government.
That is money taken either directly from household and business energy consumers, according to the Congressional Budget Office when it was headed by Obama's budget director, Peter Orszag. (See Orszag statement.) Those billions translate into between one and two thousand dollars per year for the average household.
“The cost of a cap-and-trade plan to businesses and consumers will be huge, which the Treasury Department internally acknowledges,” said Horner. "The documents represent what the administration expects ‘cap and trade’ to cost, and raise. It's a candid perspective that must be told with as much openness to the American public as administration staff discuss with each other. Therefore, we call on the administrationAdministration to immediately release complete, un-redacted copies of these documents for all to see. No more hiding.”
There is one difference between the White House plan and the plan that passed the U.S. House this year which ends up also auctioning off three-fourths of the emission permits, while giving away the rest to politically favored-entities for resale to the productive sector, which is that the White House plan would auction them all off immediately. The House found that too politically difficult and gave away many of the permits for the first few years. Both schemes, however, include selling the allowances to fund government spending, notwithstanding claims to the contrary by supporters of the idea that auctioning has been ”scrapped.”
”CBO, under Obama's now-budget director, makes clear that the outcome for the American taxpayer remains the same,” said Horner. ”It doesn't matter who gets the money in the first few years or ever- -- whether 85 percent are at first given away to special interests, or 100 percent immediately goes to the government – it still comes out the taxpayer’s pocket.”
> View statement by Christopher Horner, Big Green Fury & Bile Belie Big Green Fabrications