Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Waxman-Markey: Continuing Fallout and Analysis

The fallout over the Waxman-Markey vote in the House of Representatives last week is continuing, both politically and environmentally. Attack ads are already in the works which will be used against some of the vulnerable first- and second-term Democrats who voted in favor of the bill, with many more certain to come in the future. Politico also ran a good behind-the-scenes piece today on the steps taken by Speaker Pelosi and Democrat leadership to round up enough votes for passage - and the lengths that some members took to avoid having to talk to her on the House floor.

Along with that, the number of stories on the cost and impact of this bill (in its present form; it's almost guaranteed to be altered significantly by the Senate in the weeks and months ahead) continues to grow with each passing day. One of the more interesting ones I've read today is found on the Forbes.com DigitalRules blog and concerns how the requirements in this bill will dramatically affect the sectors which provide 90 percent of the nation's electricity. Here is a brief excerpt:
In the U.S., electricity is produced from these sources. If you are reading this on a handheld and can't read Wikipedia's wonderful pie chart, here is the breakdown:
48.9% -- Coal
20% -- Natural Gas
19.3% -- Nuclear
1.6% -- Petroleum
Got that?
A tick over 88% of U.S. electricity comes from three sources: coal, gas and nuclear. Petroleum brings the contribution of so-called "evil" energy--that is, energy that is carbon- or uranium-based--to almost 90% ...
The Waxman-Markey bill that passed the House on Friday by a 219-212 margin will punitively tax energy sources that contribute 90% of current U.S. electricity (or 71% if you want to leave out nuclear). The taxes will be used to subsidize the 10% renewable contributors (but really just 3% after you leave out hydro).
In other words, Waxman-Markey is betting the future of U.S. electricity production on sources that now contribute 3% or supply 10 million Americans with electricity. That's enough juice for the people in Waxman's Los Angeles County. Or, if you prefer, for Nancy Pelosi's metro San Francisco plus Markey's metro Boston.

I encourage you to read the entire piece, and to continue reading anything you can on this legislation. Continuing to educate yourself on this matter will be crucial as the Senate takes up this measure in the weeks and months ahead.

No comments:

Post a Comment