My one major complaint about American style capitalism or a better term would be corporatism, is the need for short term gain at the expense of the future. Corporations and their lackeys in the Congress seem to bend over backward to protect profits but ignore the consequences of that short sightedness. Take for example the comments made by Rep Jim Jordan (R-OH4) and Marathon Petroleum Co. President Gary Heminger on Thursday to the Findlay Courier concerning the proposed carbon cap and trade program.
U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan and Marathon Petroleum Co. President Gary Heminger on Thursday said congressional Democrats’ plans to reduce carbon emissions would raise utility bills and kill jobs.
The hardship to the 4th District would be compounded by its large number of manufacturers, whose costs would climb. The Democrats’ plan would be a “job killer,” Jordan said.
“It takes a lot of energy to manufacture things,” he said. “We are a huge manufacturing district.”
A study by The Heritage Foundation, a public policy research institute, said the 4th Congressional District would be the fourth hardest hit in the nation.
Marathon employees also are vulnerable, Heminger said.
“I talk to our employees (and tell them) … ‘What this does, is, this is going to eliminate your job. It is not just an extra 50 cents, a dollar, whatever per gallon at the pump, and whatever the increment is in your electricity bill, or your natural gas bill,'” Heminger said. “‘But it is going to eliminate one of the largest industries in the country.'”
Yes, a carbon cap and trade program would force a change in how we do business. The change though is for a future long term benefit by leveling the playing field. The one obstacle to a clean energy economy is the cost. A cap and trade program would remove that obstacle.
Leveling the playing field by forcing fossil-fuel prices to reflect their true cost will spur a wave of clean-energy investment: research and development in new technologies, new factories to produce solar panels and wind turbines, and energy-efficiency retrofits of commercial and residential real estate. That means jobs, and lots of them. While some businesses that rely on dirty energy will be hurt, many others will thrive in the clean-energy economy.
Most carbon cap plans are set up to fail because they reward energy companies with permit giveaways and fail to compensate consumers for increased electricity bills. One such proposal hit the Senate floor last year, only to collapse under the weight of too much spending and not enough protection for the middle class. Obama’s cap-and-refund plan avoids these mistakes.
A clean energy economy would help reduce climate change, improve the health of the population, add to our national security by removing our dependence on foreign oil, and bring about greater technology investment.
We may have to buy electric cars that cost $40,000 but the technology is still pretty new. Heminger doesn’t seem to be aware of Moore’s law in the computer industry and that would happen in the electric car industry as we move forward. Five or six years ago I had to spend about $20 for a compact florescent light bulb, now you can buy them for less than $10. When consumer VCRs came on the market you had to spend thousands of dollars now you can buy one for less than $20 – if you can find one.
We must change our energy policy and get rid of the dirty fuel. I would much rather do it now while the transition costs are relatively low then be forced to do it through some major crisis like the melting of the ice caps or cut off of foreign oil when it will cost us all much more.