Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Wall Street Journal on Waxman-Markey Climate Bill Industry Impacts

A half-dozen articles from the WSJ:

Industries are Grappling With New Bill on Climate

...The current draft of the bill would give away up to 85% of those permits over the next 20 years. Still, instituting a cap and trade system would start the process of putting a price on emitting carbon dioxide. The bill's supporters say that is enough to start driving the technological innovation and investment needed to move away from fossil fuels.

"Putting a price on carbon is the most important thing we can do," Silicon Valley venture capitalist John Doerr told reporters after the meeting of the president's advisory board. Mr. Doerr, a partner at, Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, is one of a number of tech figures who have invested some of the wealth they earned during the Internet boom in clean-energy ventures that could get a boost from the Waxman-Markey proposal.

Critics of Waxman-Markey, most of them Republicans but also some Democrats, say it is a tax by another name applied in a complex and costly way.

A Congressional Budget Office analysis of climate change policy estimated that price increases associated with a 15% cut in carbon dioxide emissions would cost the average U.S. household $1,600 a year. The CBO analysis said low income households would shoulder a larger burden, as would families in coal dependent regions such as the Ohio Valley.

Harvard University economics professor Martin Feldstein questioned during the meeting with Mr. Obama whether the price might be too high for U.S. consumers, but said giving away too many pollution credits to utilities could undermine the goal of reducing emissions.

"You have to raise the price to consumers to get them to cut back," Mr. Feldstein said. "I have a hard time understanding the give-away strategy."

Lawmakers say they would compensate consumers for the added burden through tax credits and direct government subsidies. The Waxman-Markey bill would use the states to funnel monthly payments to low-income households, defined as those eligible for food stamps or with gross income up to 150% of the poverty line.

But the Waxman-Markey bill is more than just cap and trade. The proposal would establish requirements that utilities buy at least 12% of their electricity from renewable sources such as windmills, solar panels and geothermal technology....MORE

Kleiner, Perkins has some $1 Billion invested in forty-odd companies that will benefit from the climate bill. Here are the rest of the Journal articles:

The Climate Bill: Industry Impact

HT: Environmental Capital