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Sarah Palin on “cap and tax” proposal

July 14, 2009

Fresh off of announcing her decision to retire as governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin has a column in today’s Washington Post attacking the proposed “cap and trade” policy being considered by Congress.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (AP photo)

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (AP photo)

Designed to limit carbon emissions, the proposed policy would “cap” the amount of carbon power plants would be able to produce. A plant that comes in under its allowance could “trade” (for cash) the remainder of its allowance to another plant that has over-emitted.

Proponents say the policy is the best way to limit carbon emissions at power plants, and has proved successful with other pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. Opponents say the technology needed to limit those emissions to the levels being proposed is too expensive, with the extra cost being passed along to energy consumers.

After an initial jab at the media – “Unfortunately, many in the national media would rather focus on the personality-driven political gossip of the day than on the gravity of these challenges” – Palin, a Republican, typifies the “cap and trade” policy as having a negative impact across this country’s economic spectrum.

Job losses are so certain under this new cap-and-tax plan that it includes a provision accommodating newly unemployed workers from the resulting dried-up energy sector, to the tune of $4.2 billion over eight years. So much for creating jobs.

As alternatives, Palin proposes drilling in ANWAR and takes a chance to tout her work on the natural gas pipeline that Alaska is building.

In closing, Palin takes a jab at President Barack Obama, stealing an oft-repeated line from his campaign last year –

Can America produce more of its own energy through strategic investments that protect the environment, revive our economy and secure our nation?

Yes, we can. Just not with Barack Obama’s energy cap-and-tax plan.

Looks like Palin is already warming up for at least an interim career as pundit on her way to a presidential bid in 2012.

One Comment
  1. Ed Marksberry permalink
    July 17, 2009 7:53 am

    It wasn’t that long ago when Western Ky. coal because of its high sulfur content took a back seat to low sulfur coal. The industry spent millions of dollars developing scrubbers to control the sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and other coal plant emissions. It required years of research and a ton (millions) of money. The result was a large economic impact for the industry and the environment (so we thought). Now along comes global warming and CO2 emmissions the reasons for it. It is time to reinvest heavily in developing true cleaner coal technology before the coal industry becomes another victim of its own demise. It is only a matter of time before other states will have to turn to natural gas (as they did before the gas gouging) to generate their electricity. We stand at a critical threshold for Kentucky’s coal industry, will they ignore the facts or will they invest in their future. Kentucky should be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Here are some facts on coal.
    Electricity generation accounts for 40% CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions here in America. Coal produces about 51% of U.S. electricity and over 80% of the carbon dioxide emissions. Natural gas produces 15% of U.S. electricity and about 16% of the carbon dioxide emissions.
    Most scientists agree that CO2 emissions are the main cause of global warming.
    Using coal to generate electricity is less than a 1/3 of the cost of other fuels.
    Kentucky has the 4th lowest energy cost in the U.S. (5.3 cents per kilo watt hour).
    Recent study shows the Ky. coal industry tax revenue does not cover the cost to maintain the roads and infrastructure damaged by coal industry.
    America has more than 250 billion tons of recoverable coal reserves, the equivalent of 800 billion barrels of oil, more than three times Saudi Arabia’s proven oil reserves.
    A quarter of all of the known coal in the entire world is here in America, and large coal deposits can be found in 38 states. In fact, we’ve got more coal than the entire Middle East has oil. At the current rate of consumption, we are capable of meeting domestic demand for more than 200 years. But I remind you, consumption is expected to rise some 50% over the next thirty years. Let’s hope the cap
    and trade bill will help Kentucky’s coal industry realize it can once again invest in securing their own future.

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