As Daffy Duck used to say ...
A group of energy company executives got involved in climate change legislative planning, Kim Strassel reports. They were supporting a cap and trade system to stem global warming. They figured everyone would get an allotment of carbon atoms they could release and then be able buy and sell them. As Strassel reports,
But the political question was always how that first batch of permits would end up with companies. Corporate support rested on the belief they'd be "allocated," for free. This would allow them to delay the day when they'd have to pass costs on to consumers, and ignore, for now, the "tax" question.
It didn't take long for the pols to figure out they could auction off permits and spend the loot. President Obama's auction bonanza would earn the feds $650 billion in 10 years, according to the administration's budget estimate -- and that's a low, low, low estimate.
Politicians figuring out how to charge us a fee to do something we have always done for free? I am shocked. Shocked!
Any energy company exec who got involved in this process is not a victim, but a volunteer.
On the upside, if the Elephants and the business community do their job right, we may be able to kill this thing outright.