Cap and Trade Calamities

When gas prices surpassed $4 per gallon last summer, it forced families to cancel their vacations. Not only was the day-to-day driving eating up families’ budgets, but it made the cost of traveling somewhere for vacation all that more expensive. Purchasing airline tickets was out of the question for many. If cap and trade becomes law, news could only get worse for the air travelers and the airline industry.

From CQ Politics: “The most recent draft of the Senate bill by John Kerry, D-Mass., and Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., includes aircraft and aircraft engines in its emissions-trading plan. The language tracks with provisions in a climate change bill the House passed in June.”

Cap and trade, which would artificially raise the price of energy, could cost the airline industry $5 billion dollars according to the article. When speaking about Waxman-Markey, Steve Sear, Delta Air Lines vice president of global sales, said passing cap and trade would result “in hundreds of millions of dollars in additional fuel costs that will either have to be absorbed or passed on to customers.”

On top of that, Sear went on to say that Waxman-Markey, officially known as the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) would hurt the industry’s ability to innovate on its own:

Those additional costs will undermine the ultimate aim of the act—to decrease carbon emissions—by making it difficult, if not impossible, for U.S. airlines to invest in the technology and alternative fuels that can reduce harmful greenhouse gases. ACES also would threaten our ability to provide jobs to thousands of U.S. workers, and airline service to hundreds of communities. It would put U.S. carriers in a competitive disadvantage against foreign airlines immune to the measure’s effects.”

Whether greenhouse gases are harmful is beside the point. An energy tax on any businesses will reduce the amount of money that can be spent on innovation and entrepreneurial activity that produce greater efficiency.