Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Will They or Won’t They Pull a Fast One on Cap-and-Trade?

Will They or Won’t They Pull a Fast One on Cap-and-Trade?; FOXNews

Will the Senate Budget Committee use budget reconciliation for cap-and-trade? It sounds obscure but it’s the trillion dollar question. Committee Chairman Kent Conrad has not sworn off using a process called “reconciliation” to help pass the biggest tax hike in U.S. history, the cap-and-trade energy tax. Reconciliation is part of the budget process that makes it easier to achieve deficit-reduction goals by making changes to taxes and entitlement policy-but it can also be abused to make major policy changes.

Putting cap-and-trade in reconciliation would be a procedural short cut that would allow it to pass in the full Senate without proper debate and with just 50 votes needed instead of the usual 60 votes. On this issue, with 60 votes required, it’s a dog fight. With 50, it’s a relative walk in the park for Harry Reid and his high-tax allies, including President Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Fortunately, the man most likely to decide the path forward, Kent Conrad, comes from the coal state of North Dakota.

Obama told The San Francisco Chronicle last year: ‘So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.’...

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