Sunday, November 1, 2009

How Cap And Trade Will Finally Kill The Rust Belt

Anyone who knows anything about the proposed "Cap and Trade" bill in Congress knows that it will financially punish (if not bankrupt) the dirtiest and most energy consuming industries in America. Probably, the dirtiest of those industries that will be subject to the most punitive effects of "Cap and Trade" are the coal-fired power plants and the steel mills; most of which are located in the "Rust Belt" areas of the country such as Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, etc.

There are a little over 600 coal-fired power plants in America and most are concentrated west of the Mississippi River.

In the West, for example, Nevada only has 3 coal plants. California has 10. Oregon has but 1.

But, in the upper Midwest and Northeast, things are a lot different. For example, Indiana is one of the most coal-dependent states with 90 power plants operating at 30 different locations. Pennsylvania has 78 power plants at 40 locations throughout the state. Michigan has 88 plants at 33 locations.

Many of our steel mills are also located in states like Michigan and Indiana.

The main Rust Belt states like Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania have seen dramatic declines in heavy manufacturing since the 1970's. That's when major manufacturing operations began moving overseas. For sure, it was from that point when the automobile industry in America began to decline because it was in the late 70's that the OPEC oil embargo first gave the fuel-efficient Japanese auto makers a foot in the door. They haven't looked back since. Now, Toyota is the number one selling automobile in America.

The Cap and Trade bill will further deteriorate heavy manufacturing because, as noted above, the majority of electric power from coal is located in the rust belt states. That means everything that we manufacture in the Upper Midwest and Midwest and in the Northeast will have a substantially higher price due to exorbitant energy costs. In the world marketplace, our products will fall even further behind those of China, India, South America, Korea, etc. who will not be buying into any carbon restricting plans of their own. Our auto industry will, again, be hurt the worst because it takes a lot of energy to build a car: From melting the iron ore to producing the steel that makes the frames and bodies; to the industrial robots that accomplish much of the assembly and painting.

Cap and Trade will be a disaster for what is left of manufacturing in this country. Right now, the Rust Belt is just rusty. With Cap and Trade, the rust will inevitably turn into dust. And, for what? Because some politically-driven environmentalists have trumped up a phony belief that mankind is completely killing the planet? When all is lost and the world hasn't burnt away because of CO2, who do we see to get all our jobs back? Who do we see to restore our standard of living? Who do the poor see to get their lives back. They are the ones who will be sorely punished by the inflated costs for home heating, food, and the clothes on their backs. Who will be responsible when the planet proves that man wasn't the cause of the last 100 years of global warming? Will Al Gore give back the millions that he fleeced in pushing his fake agenda? I'm quite sure that it will be the Rust Belt that begins asking all those question first; and, not too far into the future from now.

1 comment:

Concerned said...

We need to start asking questions and voicing our concerns now, before this disastrous legislation is passed. Cap and trade will cost Americans millions of jobs and thousands every year in increased energy prices. Write your representatives in Congress at and let them know that you do not support this bill.