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Friday, May 15, 2009

Global warming bill becomes another Washington porkfest

I've been writing since Enron about how climate change legislation is a racket. My Examiner today column hits on one specific angle, the giveaway of emissions credits.
Considering the anti-business and pro-environment rhetoric of ruling Democrats, you might expect all businesses would have to pay for all emissions. But the rule of thumb in Washington—at least as true in Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi’s Washington as it was in George W. Bush and Tom DeLay’s Washington—is that no important bill passes unless a well-connected special interest benefits from it. Following the rule, climate change legislation is starting to look like the stimulus bill: a buffet of handouts.
Currently, Waxman’s bill gives away about half the credits, with most free credits going to the power industry. Edison Electric, the trade group representing these companies, has endorsed this bill.
It’s unsurprising the power companies should get their way. Data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics show that the electric utility industry’s political action committees contributed $12.3 million to candidates last election—more than the PACs of the oil and gas, commercial bank, investment, real estate, or telecom industries—and nearly as much as all defense PACs.
Read the whole thing here.

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