Emissions and Regulation and Mitch Daniels and Coal and Regulation and Air Quality and State Government and Environmental Policy and Energy & Environment and Government

A cap on cap and trade?

May 25, 2009

On May 15, the Wall Street Journal published a letter from Gov. Mitch Daniels laying out his sharp opposition to the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act, which would set limits on carbon emissions to combat global warming.

In his letter, Daniels does not attempt to question scientific proof of global warming. But in stark language echoing the taxation ire that inspired the American Revolution, Daniels argues cap and trade legislation would order Hoosiers "to accept impoverishment for a policy that won't save a single polar bear."

"Quite simply, it looks like imperialism," Daniels wrote. "This bill would impose taxes and restrictions on free commerce by wealthy but faltering powers—California, Massachusetts and New York—seeking to exploit potentially weaker colonies in order to prop up their own decaying economies. Because proceeds from their new taxes, levied mostly on us, will be spent on their social programs while negatively impacting our economy, we Hoosiers decline to submit meekly."

Daniels asserts that the legislation would more than double electricity bills in Indiana while erasing years of tax and regulation reform and infrastructure-building. "'Closed: Gone to China' signs would cover Indiana's stores and factories," he wrote.

"No one in Indiana is arguing for the status quo: Hoosiers have been eager to pursue a new energy future," Daniels wrote.

In his letter's conclusion, Daniels extols Indiana's advancements in clean-coal technology, then returns to his monarchial analogy.

"Our president has commendably committed himself to 'government that works,'" Daniels wrote. "But his imperial climate-change policy is government that cannot work, and we humble colonials out here in the provinces have no choice but to petition for relief from the Crown's impositions."

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