01 Apr 2009

Waxman-Markey: Staring Into the Abyss

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One of the “joys” of my job with IER is that I have to comb through the actual bills that the great deliberative body in DC generates. For example, try sifting through the Waxman-Markey climate and energy bill [pdf], a 648-page monstrosity that got dumped on us yesterday.

If you open it, check out “SEC. 416” starting on page 560. It explains how the Executive branch will be able to establish a whole new program of “international reserve allowances.” Basically, if the president (or in practice, the agency to which he delegates this power) decides that compliance with greenhouse mandates is causing US producers to lose market share, then any importer of the relevant foreign goods will have to enter a new market for importing credits (just as utilities will have to buy allowances to emit carbon). Call me cynical, but it seems like a complicated way to slap foreign goods with tariffs in the name of saving the planet.

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