It's 20-below zero today in parts of the Midwest. It hasn't been that cold in some twenty years.
I'm not sure I buy into the theory of global warming; no one has been taking Mother Nature’s temperature over the eons. So who knows? But if the earth is truly warming, is it CO2, or just all that political hot air coming from Sacramento and Washington?
Back in the news, Cap and Trade. Many see it as nothing more than a cleverly disguised tax. That will cost 400 California companies a billion dollars this year, money that the state is supposedly going to use for anti-pollution efforts. Hold that thought.
The way the state’s green market is supposed to work, a price is set for a ton of carbon, which is traded electronically. Companies are given a certain number of allowances, each entitling the company to emit one ton of carbon. Once the limit is reached, companies can buy credits on this carbon market at the going price or ignore the market and pay a fine. In theory, Cap and Trade is designed to clean up the air by pressuring big polluters, refineries, power companies and the like and to modernize their facilities by adding new greener technologies. Critics say what’s more likely to happen is that companies will move out of California, leaving one last trail of carbon, fired workers driving to the unemployment office or moving vans emitting exhaust as they move the goods of those still employed to greener pastures.
It's political Three Card Monte, the amount of pollution probably won’t decrease much, the polluters will just buy credit or pay the state hefty fines and either way, those costs will be passed on to us in the form of higher prices. What’s worse - under Jerry Brown's reign, the money generated by Cap and Trade has become his designated slush fund. He used $500 million from the proceeds to close the budget gap last year. Now he's proposing to take hundreds of millions to help cover the cost of High Speed Rail, what many are calling the Train to Nowhere. Even if the project could arguably improve the environment, it wouldn't do it before Cap and Trade's own deadline of 2020.
Outside of the Fantasy Island that is the Capitol all of this would be called embezzlement.
Around Sacramento it's just a typical abuse of power.