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View Diary:  Cantwell's CLEAR Gamechanging, Simpler + Fairer CO2 Reduction Senate Approach (96 comments)

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  •  FWIW: (3+ / 0-)

    The first 10 pages of the bill are blather and can be skipped.  That is as far as I have got so far.

    The alternet article indicates that the idea is to limit carbon inputs into the economy.  I have 2 problems with this off the top.

    1.  Carbon is used in multidtudes of ways and processes that generate no CO2 or other greenhouse gases.  Unless they are all enumerated and exempted this bill is abysmally stupid.
    1. It certainly creates no incentive to clean up your act.  The guy running the really dirty plant is not put at any disadvantage relative to the guy running the really clean plant, so there will be absolutely no efforts to reduce emissions.

    "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

    by enhydra lutris on Sat Oct 03, 2009 at 04:52:52 PM PDT

    •  On page 26 there is one paragraph (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder

      which may or may not mitigate, to some extent, the financial impact on producers of products that use carbon without emitting any into the air.  One whould have to carefully parse and outline pages 11 through 27 or so to see just how big an effect it will have.  However, that will do nothing about the idea of ratcheting down total carbon inputs instead of emissions outputs.  Huge numbers of chemicals, textiles, plastics and other products will be subject to significant inflation caused by the scarcity of their basis chemical building block.

      The idea is very similar to limiting the amount of water that can be allowed to enter the economy for all purposes in order to limit polluted farm runoff.

      This is bassackwards and stupid.  One should attack the problem, not something that is but related to the problem.

      "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

      by enhydra lutris on Sat Oct 03, 2009 at 05:02:40 PM PDT

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    •  I ended up reading the whole bill after I posted (3+ / 0-)

      my above comments, and now that I have, I'm even more against it.  The bill, shorter:

      1.  At the source, carbon is taxed $1 (for simplicity's sake)
      1.  $1 is passed on to the consumer (it's not spelled out in the bill, but the bill doesn't make any sense unless it is passed on).
      1.  The consumer gets a monthly rebate of 75 cents.
      1.  The remaining 25 cents goes into a fund, which sounds an awful lot like a slush fund, to compensate certain people and businesses and fund unspecified REDD and other programs.

      Or, the bill, even shorter:
      The American consumer is taxed 25 cents for every dollar spent on carbon.

      •  Your characterization is unfounded conjecture (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        itzik shpitzik

        4 The remaining 25 cents goes into a fund, which sounds an awful lot like a slush fund, to compensate certain people and businesses and fund unspecified REDD and other programs.

        This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer. -Will Rogers

        by Lefty Coaster on Sat Oct 03, 2009 at 06:57:16 PM PDT

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      •  And how much will we pay under cap & trade? (0+ / 0-)

        At least that much except it will never be defined, always subject to the whims of the market and traders.

        This is not what I thought I'd be when I grew up.

        by itzik shpitzik on Sat Oct 03, 2009 at 07:03:56 PM PDT

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      •  Cap and Trade plays favorites (0+ / 0-)

        in who gets how many carbon allowances.

        The CLEAR bill would gain more significant reductions more quickly as David Morris points out on page 3 of the alternet piece linked to in the diary by using a more up to date and lower baseline to start from.

        This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer. -Will Rogers

        by Lefty Coaster on Sat Oct 03, 2009 at 07:20:08 PM PDT

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        •  Read that Alternet link, thanks -- (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          trykindness, sustainable, divineorder

          which explains why the bill hasn't been introduced yet: the environmental groups are giving her "pushback."

          Cantwell's bill requires far less greenhouse-gas reductions in the early years than Waxman-Markey. Waxman-Markey requires a 17 percent reduction from a 2005 baseline. CLEAR requires a 1.5 percent reduction from a 2012 baseline by 2020. Cantwell should increase the required reductions.

          1.5 percent reduction by 2020?  For comparison's sake, Waxman-Markey's weak 17% reduction is over 10 times stronger, Kerry-Boxer's is 20%, Japan seeks 25%, and Indonesia has pledged 26%.  That is truly pathetic.  All the reliable science shows that what we do early will have a far stronger impact than what we do late.

          Also, if you use 2012 as a baseline rather than past year, you create a perverse incentive to run up emissions in the years between now and 2012.  

          Yes, the article explains that Waxman-Markey might also not work as well as intended -- but it ignores Kerry-Boxer.

          I'll stick with my original assessment: an oil & gas industry friendly, simplistic bill.

      •  It is also still backwards, (0+ / 0-)

        like trying to prevent water pollution by outlawing water instead of outlawing pollution.  It makes no sense to do it that way.

        "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

        by enhydra lutris on Sat Oct 03, 2009 at 08:45:01 PM PDT

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        •  Not hardly (0+ / 0-)

          Tax vs. Cap-Trade

          CTC regards carbon taxes as superior to carbon cap-and-trade systems for six fundamental reasons:

            1. Carbon taxes will lend predictability to energy prices, whereas cap-and-trade systems will aggravate the price volatility that historically has discouraged investments in less carbon-intensive electricity generation, carbon-reducing energy efficiency and carbon-replacing renewable energy.

            2. Carbon taxes can be implemented much sooner than complex cap-and-trade systems. Because of the urgency of the climate crisis, we do not have the luxury of waiting while the myriad details of a cap-and-trade system are resolved through lengthy negotiations.

            3. Carbon taxes are transparent and easily understandable, making them more likely to elicit the necessary public support than an opaque and difficult to understand cap-and-trade system.

            4. Carbon taxes can be implemented with far less opportunity for manipulation by special interests, while a cap-and-trade system’s complexity opens it to exploitation by special interests and perverse incentives that can undermine public confidence and undercut its effectiveness.

            5. Carbon taxes address emissions of carbon from every sector, whereas some cap-and-trade systems discussed to date have only targeted the electricity industry, which accounts for less than 40% of emissions.

            6. Carbon tax revenues would most likely be returned to the public through dividends or progressive tax-shifting, while the costs of cap-and-trade systems are likely to become a hidden tax as dollars flow to market participants, lawyers and consultants.

          This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer. -Will Rogers

          by Lefty Coaster on Sat Oct 03, 2009 at 08:55:57 PM PDT

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          •  Doesn't alter the fact that it is bassackwards. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RLMiller

            In order to limit certain fossil carbon combustion by products, we will restrict neither the byproducts nor the combustion of fossil carbon, but we will instead restrict all uses of fossil carbon, carbon fiber products, lubricants, textiles, chemicals, you name it.  That is simply dumb and misdirected.

            "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

            by enhydra lutris on Sat Oct 03, 2009 at 09:09:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  How is this dumb? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              divineorder

              We shouldn't be pulling carbon that has already been sequestered over millions of years out of the ground for any reasons. What happens to all these products that aren't combusted? How many will evaporate, degrade, or otherwise be metabolized and released into the atmosphere.

              We can figure out other ways of making lubricants (not that we should go back to using whales), textiles, etc. And "chemicals"? Umm, I would think that many of the chemicals made with fossil carbon have significant green house gas emissions released in their processes. Anyways, of the products you've cited that couldn't be manufactured with a different form of hydrocarbon, many would be high margin. Or at least a higher margin than using hydrocarbons for fuel. They should be able to out bid other users.

              Keep it in the ground, period.

              •  Ridiculous. (0+ / 0-)

                We shouldn't be pulling carbon that has already been sequestered over millions of years out of the ground for any reasons. What happens to all these products that aren't combusted? How many will evaporate, degrade, or otherwise be metabolized and released into the atmosphere.

                "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

                by enhydra lutris on Sun Oct 04, 2009 at 12:41:54 PM PDT

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      •  Sounds like Clinton's carbon tax. (0+ / 0-)

        But it is indirect to cutting greenhouse gases. Idea being make carbon more expensive and people will use less. Price drop, supply goes up, people might use more despite the tax. We can't wait. We need to directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

        The requirement is to cut greenhouse emissions so the legislation needs to do that directly vs "market forces". Mandated incremental lower levels of carbon emissions for houses, buildings, industry, transportation so that we get the 80% reduction by 2050 that climate scientists say we need to mitigate the damage of global warming from emissions.

      •  Wow, really bad analysis. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lefty Coaster

        A) You assume that every individual is taxed the same amount. However, there are some users who produce much more carbon than others, hence they would provide a greater portion of the tax pool. If person #1 is taxed $5 and person #2 is taxed $1, they would both receive $2.25 (3 * .75) in rebate. This turns a regressive tax into an extremely progressive one. Some estimates show that the bottom quartile of the income scale could see a net increase of income of 14% (under a 100% dividend system).

        I agree the dividend should be higher. Likely that 25% is put aside to grease the wheels of congress. I haven't read the bill, but I doubt that 25% is put aside in perpetuity, hopefully not. Really it would only be required early on for adaptation and r&d measures.

        •  Not sure if your comment was to me or not (0+ / 0-)

          but the bill doesn't specify how the dividends are to be divided up at all.  Also, the analyses you cite, which are interesting, assume a far higher price for carbon than does the bill.

          The 25% CERT fund has no sunset provision, so it is in perpetuity.  As I review the CERT fund more closely, a lot of worthy groups will compete for a fund (that, I believe, would shrink over time?): worker transition assistance, R&D, relief to businesses, etc.  Potential catfight.

    •  Not real objections (0+ / 0-)
      1. Carbon is used in multidtudes of ways and processes that generate no CO2 or other greenhouse gases.  Unless they are all enumerated and exempted this bill is abysmally stupid.

      Agreed.  You need a rebate when you produce plastic, chemicals, etc. based on their carbon content.

      1. It certainly creates no incentive to clean up your act.  The guy running the really dirty plant is not put at any disadvantage relative to the guy running the really clean plant, so there will be absolutely no efforts to reduce emissions.

      If you burn a gallon of oil you get X pounds of CO2.  There is no dirty vs. clean in this.  The only exception is for carbon sequestration projects, all of which are only in the pilot stage.  They can also get rebates.

      •  You miss the fact that we will ratchet down (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder

        total carbon available for all uses, fertilizer, chemicals, textiles, plastic, lubricants, carbon fiber anything, etc., etc.  This doesn't merely tax, it limits, except for 4(a)(2)(C)(v) which allows Presidential override to foster economic competitiveness.

        Your second point is simply flat out wrong.  CO2 output from the smokestack can be reduced, but it costs, and this bill provides no incentive.

        "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

        by enhydra lutris on Sat Oct 03, 2009 at 09:03:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No incentive to save money (0+ / 0-)

          Economists might beg to differ with that idea.

          This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer. -Will Rogers

          by Lefty Coaster on Sat Oct 03, 2009 at 09:19:31 PM PDT

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          •  There is no saving unless stripping plus (0+ / 0-)

            sequestration have zero cost/  CO2 is produced by combustion, not by inefficiencies, and tis bill doesn't concern itself with penalizing CO2 emissions, even though they are the problem, but with restricting all uses of fossil carbon, such as all carbon fiber products, etc.

            "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

            by enhydra lutris on Sun Oct 04, 2009 at 02:48:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Dumb and dumber (0+ / 0-)

          You miss the fact that we will ratchet down total carbon available for all uses, fertilizer, chemicals, textiles, plastic, lubricants, carbon fiber anything, etc., etc.  This doesn't merely tax, it limits, except for 4(a)(2)(C)(v) which allows Presidential override to foster economic competitiveness.

          Silly... you just give people who use carbon in ways that don't produce CO2 a way to get rebates or credits so the carbon they use doesn't count against the caps.

          If you burn a gallon of oil you get X pounds of CO2.  There is no dirty vs. clean in this.  The only exception is for carbon sequestration projects, all of which are only in the pilot stage.

          Your second point is simply flat out wrong.  CO2 output from the smokestack can be reduced, but it costs, and this bill provides no incentive.

          Yes... because with the right shaped furnaces and other mitigation equipment you can burn a mole of carbon and produce less than a mole of CO2.  The remaining carbon combines with O2 to produce energy and then magically flies away to Far Far Away where Shrek eats it and then shits diamonds, right?

          •  Stripping is not sequestration, sorry. (0+ / 0-)

            Many techniques for both exist.  You may try to belittle the status of sequestration, but don't deny that COs can be stripped from exhaust gases.  It looks almost as silly as your attempting to rebut the fact that this law limits all uses of fossil carbon by proposing to give people credits and rebates that the law makes no provision for.  (Why not give them pink unicorns too?)

            Whatever state stripping and sequestration technology are in, this law certainly provides no incnetive for anybody to do either or for anybody to continue research in those areas, exactly like I said it didn't.

            "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

            by enhydra lutris on Sun Oct 04, 2009 at 01:41:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Basic thermodynamics... (0+ / 0-)

              You can't break up the CO2 to get back C without putting in more energy than you produced by burning.

              If you don't break up the CO2 then you have to sequester it somewhere.

              What, exactly, do you think this magical "stripping" is?  For the record, naked female (or male) dancers have little to do with global warming.

              •  If you are unaware of stripping you really (0+ / 0-)

                need to do a lot of reading before participating in this thread.  If you are simply attempting sophistry, then you fail.

                "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

                by enhydra lutris on Mon Oct 05, 2009 at 09:22:29 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I am very aware of stripping... (0+ / 0-)

                  You go to this bar where women take of their clothes while dancing to music (or sometimes just start naked or mostly naked).  You put dollar bills in their G strings or other locations.  If you're really planning to spend money you can pay for a lap dance.

                  But not relevant to this topic.

                  •  I see, so you are really not at all up to (0+ / 0-)

                    speed on pollution and pollution reduction and control.  I thought so.

                    "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

                    by enhydra lutris on Mon Oct 05, 2009 at 06:06:10 PM PDT

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              •  Excuse me, stripping is seemingly reserved for (0+ / 0-)

                removal of pollutants from liquid streams, and I should have used "scrubbing" for gaseous waste clean-up.  Of course, either way, I'm surpirsed that you are pretending to be or actually are ignorant of the fact that CO2 can be removed from an exhaust stream by any of numerous methods.

                "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

                by enhydra lutris on Mon Oct 05, 2009 at 09:30:32 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Massive FAIL (0+ / 0-)
                  If you burn a gallon of oil you get X pounds of CO2.  There is no dirty vs. clean in this.  The only exception is for carbon sequestration projects, all of which are only in the pilot stage.

                  Your second point is simply flat out wrong.  CO2 output from the smokestack can be reduced, but it costs, and this bill provides no incentive.

                  Of course, either way, I'm surpirsed that you are pretending to be or actually are ignorant of the fact that CO2 can be removed from an exhaust stream by any of numerous methods.

                  Looks like the beginning of a walk back - you are now referring to removing CO2 from the exhaust stream... and doing what with it please?  Magically disintegrating it into its component atoms?

                  From http://science.howstuffworks.com/...

                  After the fossil fuel is combusted in air, the resulting gases are collected and chilled. The solvent is then added and absorbs the CO2, forming a new compound in a reversible chemical reaction. The new compound separates out from the other gases by entering a more solid state that gets pumped to a new chamber and reheated. The heat causes the CO2 to come back out of solution so that it can be diverted to storage.

                  Needless to say, after it is diverted to storage it must be sequestered.  Otherwise no benefit.

                  •  Sorry dude, do some reading, catch up, and then (0+ / 0-)

                    we can talk.  Yes, at the end of the day, sequestration will generally, but not always be required, such as those making cement with mineralized CO2.  The CO2 can also be recycled into biodiesel, getting a second bite from the apple, but don't let that bother you, it is much better to believe that CO2 cannot be removed from flue gasses and such, that way you can try to con people into supporting bills which make no attempt to limit or restrict CO2 emissions as opposed to those which do.

                    "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

                    by enhydra lutris on Mon Oct 05, 2009 at 06:11:11 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

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