Because a Democrat super-majority in the U.S. Senate refused in 2009 to take it up, the United States remains free of the carbon dioxide cap-and-trade system candidate Barack Obama said would cause electricity prices “to necessarily skyrocket,” even as he claimed ownership of the idea.
So we’ve had no national demonstration of what would result from imposing a “carbon tax,” which is what cap-and-trade amounts to. But like they say, the states are the laboratories of democracy, and California, America’s colossal Petri dish, is selflessly conducting the experiment and showing the rest of us what to expect.
Predictably, revenues from California’s single-state cap-and-trade program aren’t being used to reduce greenhouse emissions as the law commands. Last year, Governor Jerry Brown grabbed most of the roughly $1.5 billion to cover general state spending. As new aspects of the program kick in, revenues are projected to increase sharply, building a bigger pot politicians will dip into for pet projects.
Now, State Senate President Darrell Steinberg is eyeing cap-and-trade revenue to pay for California’s laughably over-budget high-speed rail project, and—probably even more in keeping with the fundamental goal—to spread the wealth around.
More than likely, you realized long ago that the global warming scare had little or nothing to do with Earth’s climate, which has been changing constantly since there was Earth. Those with sound instincts grasp the genuine brilliance of political manipulators who saw the opportunity inherent in convincing people they were responsible for something that was happening anyway, and that they could absolve themselves of guilt only by handing over lots of money and control over wide swathes of their lives.
To some, that was obvious from the start. But it’s thoughtful of California to furnish the proof.