If you want to know what cap and trade will to do our economy, we’re living it. According to new data released from the Energy Information Administrations, United States carbon dioxide emissions are down 9% since 2007. The calculation compares the emissions of coal, petroleum and natural gas in the first five months to the emissions of the first five months in 2009.

The current recession means people are driving less, people are flying less, and companies are pumping out less carbon dioxide because people are simply buying less. The trade off for reduced carbon dioxide emissions is reduced economic activity – or an economy operating well under its potential. In fact, The Heritage Foundation analysis of the Waxman-Markey cap and trade bill reduce economic activity by $9.4 trillion inflation adjusted dollars for the years 2012-2035, the years for which Heritage modeled the bill. What’s worse, the trade off for all this economic pain is very little environmental gain, as climatologists predict the bill will have negligible effects on global temperature.

Waxman-Markey will deepen and prolong future recessions and weaken future recoveries. The goal of cap and trade is to drive up energy prices so high people will use less energy, but even after reduced consumption, people still need to drive their cars and turn on their lights at home. All cap and trade does is force people to spend more on their energy bills. These higher energy prices result in a slower economy, which means less production, higher unemployment, and reduced income.