Opinion

The Great Debate

What will the climate change bill do to your job?

diana-furchtgottroth–- Diana Furchtgott-Roth, former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor, is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. The views expressed are her own. –-

Next Thursday, just in time for the July 4 holiday weekend, America’s unemployment rate is forecast to rise from 9.4 percent to 9.6 percent, well above rates in other industrialized countries.

Yet today the House of Representatives is rushing to pass the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, even though the bill was incomplete yesterday and congressmen have not yet had the opportunity to analyze it. The bill would send America’s unemployment rate even higher.

The 1,200-page bill, cosponsored by Henry Waxman, Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Edward Markey, Chairman of the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee, would increase the price of energy by setting allowances for greenhouse gas emissions and mandating new standards for energy production and use.  The bill would raise $846.6 billion over 10 years while adding $821.2 billion to federal spending.

The bill requires that greenhouse gas emissions in 2012 do not exceed 97 percent of 2005 emissions, declining to 17 percent of 2005 emissions by 2050.  Meeting these standards now is technologically impossible without radically reducing our standards of living, but Congress is hoping that technology will magically appear as needed.

The economic cost of climate change legislation

 Diana Furchtgott-Roth– Diana Furchtgott-Roth, former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor, is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute.  The views expressed are her own. —

Chairman Henry Waxman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee announced yesterday that his American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 “will create millions of jobs, revive our economy, and secure our energy independence.”

The 648-page bill, co-sponsored by Waxman and fellow Democrat Edward Markey, Chairman of the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee, has been the subject of four days of committee hearings this week.  It would set new limits for greenhouse gas emissions, and prescribe radically new standards for energy production and use.

TARP, bonuses, dividends and Waxman’s letter

John Kemp –John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own–

By John Kemp

LONDON (Reuters) – The bitter political divisions between middle America and Wall Street on display when the House of Representatives first rejected the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act last month look set to be re-opened in even more dramatic form in the remaining months of the year.

Rep Henry Waxman, chairman of the powerful House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, on Tuesday sent identical letters to the chief executives of nine major banks receiving $125 billion of capital injections under the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) demanding details of total bonus payments for 2006, 2007 and 2008 (see http://oversight.house.gov/documents/20081028142314.pdf).

The issue of bonuses and dividend payouts from banks that accepted the TARP injection looks set to become highly charged.

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