For the second day, Republican Senators boycotted the scheduled markup of the Kerry-Boxer (S.1733) cap-and-trade bill. Senator Inhofe (R-OK) appeared briefly to emphasize that the minority is holding firm to their demands that the Environmental Protection Agency complete a comprehensive economic analysis.

Rather than use a procedural gambit to trounce the rights of the minority, Senator Boxer announced the committee would receive a briefing from committee staff on the actual provisions of the latest version of the bill. That is certainly not objectionable, but common sense suggests a thorough understanding of the legislation would be a prerequisite for a markup.

In addition, just as Senators prepare to gain a better understanding about the legislation, Senator Rockefeller (D-WV) hinted, “some people are talking about not doing it [global warming] until after the 2010 election.” Senator Olympia Snow (R-ME) went as far to say, “Obviously, it’s not an issue we will be readily addressing this year.”

While some Members will inevitably allocate time to the 2010 elections, the focus will still be the economy. Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) stressed that “jobs should be our top priority and we shouldn’t do anything that detracts from that.” Representative Bob Etheridge (D-NC) echoed Senator Bayh’s remarks, saying, “Three things ought to be the top priority: jobs, jobs and jobs.”

There’s one thing cap and trade will not do and that’s “save or create jobs.” It will destroy them. Our preliminary analysis of the Boxer-Kerry cap and trade legislation kicks 1.8 million people into the unemployment line as soon as 2012 and ultimately raises unemployment by over 2.7 million.

Even the EPA’s analysis under the most generous assumptions did not project a green economic stimulus. Out of the groups that came to The Heritage Foundation to explain the economic results of their respective cap and trade models (including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Energy Information Administration and the Congressional Budget Office), there was no disagreement on how cap and trade would affect employment. Higher energy prices will put a chokehold on the economy – causing fewer jobs and lower income.

Dan Holler co-authored this post.