I’m not critical of cap-and-trade. But it has to be used in a targeted and disciplined way, and what has happened is it’s gotten out of control.”

Those are the words of former Democratic Senator and current president of the United Nations Foundation Timothy Wirth, who also mentioned, “The Republicans are right — it’s a cap-and-tax bill.”

Those are strong words coming from a man who served as a climate change negotiator for the Clinton administration and during his tenure in the Senate focused on environmental issues, particularly global climate change and population stabilization.

But “out of control” is exactly how we should describe the cap and trade debate. It’s energy tax of historic proportions. The current Waxman-Markey cap and trade bill, if signed into law, will amount to $9.4 trillion of lost income, 2.5 million lost jobs, $5.0 trillion of additional national debt, and $5.7 trillion in new taxes that will buy no more than a 0.2 degree (Celsius) moderation in world temperature increases by 2100 and no more than a 0.05 degree reduction by 2050.

Cap and trade has gotten so out of control that industry opposition to this huge energy tax bill led to wheeling, dealing and arm-twisting to eke out the narrowest of majorities. They promised generous handouts for various industries and special interests but, in typical Washington fashion, they promised more money than they have.

Since healthcare is currently dominating the headlines, Many readers have been asking where cap and trade stands. As a reminder On June 26th, the House of Representatives narrowly passed a 1,427 page bill. The debate will pick up again in the Senate in the fall where control is the least likely thing we’ll see.

For more, check out The Heritage Foundation’s Rapid Response page.