House panel set to clear climate change bill

The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday moved into the home stretch of a nearly week-long debate on historic legislation to cap and reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, with the panel expected to pass the measure toward the end of the day.

The roughly 1,000-page bill aims to cut U.S. greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming by 17 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2020.

The legislation would also require utilities to generate more of their electricity supplies from renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power.

The key part of the legislation is a "cap and trade" system that would gradually reduce the amount of greenhouse gases from utilities, oil refineries, steelmakers and other companies by requiring them to have permits to spew their emissions.

Supporters of the bill want to use market forces to encourage companies to reduce their emissions. Companies that spew emissions above the cap would have to buy permits from less polluting companies, pushing firms to quickly cut their emissions so they cam make a profit from selling their permits.

However, Republicans are worried the legislation would hurt the U.S. economy, raise energy prices for consumers and push American companies that use large amounts of energy to other countries.
The whole premise of this is very iffy, at best. The whole thing is banking on companies reducing their emissions to either profit off selling their permits or not have to buy permits from other companies. But there is an alternative that is never mentioned: companies don't bother, buy permits, and just pass that cost on to the consumer.

Either much capital will be needed to make the necessary improvements to meet the emissions standards or more money will be needed to buy permits from other companies. Either way, more money is needed, which means a price increase. If I hear anyone who supports this complaining when the price goes up on gas, electricity, products made from steel, products made from plastics, or any other product made in a factory that has emissions (ie just about EVERYTHING), I'm going to go balistic on them.