CLEAR Away Your Choices (and Your Jobs)

One thing that our leaders do, better than anything else, is use disaster to their advantage. It doesn’t matter if it’s George Bush or Barack Obama they all seem to  be trained in this art from the earliest stages of their political careers. It doesn’t matter how horrific the disaster,  they will always find a way to turn it for their gain.

George Bush’s most notable example would be 9/11. This horrible attack was still a fresh wound when he used it to rush past congress by declaring a state of emergency and never declaring war. Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are now using another American disaster to spur on their green initiatives.

The Gulf oil spill was (and is) obviously a terrible disaster, but these political hacks are not above using it to get their legislation passed. Another new bill has been introduced by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) similar to Reid’s bill which I wrote about in my article “Piggy Back Tax!” same bill, different name. If you remember a land grab called CARA from eight years ago, it’s back. Only this is called “The Carbon Limits and Energy for American Renewal” or “CLEAR”

What this bill would do would be to auction off rights (yes, I said rights) to use power sources that create carbon emissions. Essentially what this means is that companies who have already paid their energy bills will then have to bid on whether or not they will be allowed to use that energy. If they can’t pay the price, they’ll just have to find a “greener” solution. My first question for Senators Cantwell and Collins is, when did American businesses start having to pay for the luxury to use the fuel that they bought? The “good” about this bill, they say, is that 75% of the revenue gained from the auction will go directly to the American people! This is supposed to offset the rising taxes that (even they admit) will inevitably arise on gasoline, coal and other carbon based fuels. Another “good” result of this bill is that, by raising the tax on carbon based fuels, it will give Americans the incentive to “choose” greener alternatives. What made me almost fall out of my chair laughing is that in her explanatory video Sen. Cantwell says that her bill will “harness the power of the free market, not government to find the least costly technology solutions.” This quite frankly nonplussed me. There is nothing “free” about taxing businesses to narrow the choice range for the American people. This is government manipulation of the free market, not honest use.

So to sum up this half of my argument against “CLEAR” I say:

1. Why not let the free market actually do it’s job? If your “green technology” is really the best solution the market will gravitate to it.

2. I hope I’m not supposed to jump for joy when you say I’ll be getting 75% of the revenues. This will do nothing for my wallet when you raise energy taxes and gas prices. Why not just leave the energy taxes alone? Then I won’t need your blood money.


3.  As an American I do not appreciate government trying to limit my choices in free market, nor do I appreciate any Senator regulating what kind of fuels I or the company I work for can use once we have purchased it.

(A follow up article will be published on the negative affect CLEAR will have on the economy and the unemployment crises in America.)

Tom DeWeese
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Tom DeWeese is one of the nation’s leading advocates of individual liberty, free enterprise, private property rights, personal privacy, back-to-basics education and American sovereignty and independence.