UPDATE: 2pm ET: Hearings have just resumed in the Senate Energy Committee. This morning, suggestions were tossed about that included using wood pellets, 14 solar energy plants that would employ a whopping 50,000 people, and the deforestation of our national parks to provide more biomass energy sources. Brainiacs!! Watch the hearings live on CSPAN here.

The asinine Cap and Trade bill (HR 2454/HR 2998) could come to the Senate floor today for debate. If passed, your energy costs will go through the roof. Anecdotal accounts on the web from those who have already been fitted with “smart meters” for their electric service, say that their bills skyrocketed after the installation. Contact your Senators NOW and tell them to vote NO on Cap and Trade, or you will vote no to them in the coming elections.

Ask someone in Europe how much of their income goes to energy bills…you’ll be in for a real shock. Obviously, energy prices affect every inch of our economy, so this idiocy would be one more cause of future hyperinflation (as if printing and borrowing money like drunken thieves, and the Fed buying our own Treasury bonds wasn’t Zimbabwe enough.) Al Gore, GE and Goldman Sachs will be the beneficiaries of our largess if Cap and Trade is passed.

This legislation will have powerful negative consequences on those from the middle income groups on down while the wealthy will be able to use offsets and credits to in many cases turn a carbon profit. This legislation will force us to pay a Value Added Tax as they do in the European Common Union…which goes straight to the UN. Taxation Without Representation and Global Government are not Constitutional, and are and detrimental to the People and what remains of our Republic.

As Matt Tiabbi rightly detailed in this month’s Rolling Stone cover story on Goldman Sachs:

The feature of this plan that has special appeal to speculators is that the “cap” on carbon will be continually lowered by the government, which means that carbon credits will become more and more scarce with each passing year. Which means that this is a brand-new commodities market where the main commodity to be traded is guaranteed to rise in price over time. The volume of this new market will be upwards of a trillion dollars annually for comparison’s sake, the annual combined revenues of all electricity suppliers in the U.S. total $320 billion.

Goldman wants this bill. The plan is (1) to get in on the ground floor of paradigm shifting legislation, (2) make sure that they’re the profit-making slice of that paradigm and (3) make sure the slice is a big slice. Goldman started pushing hard for cap-and-trade long ago, but things really ramped up last year when the firm spent $3.5 million to lobby climate issues. (One of their lobbyists at the time was none other than Patterson, now Treasury chief of staff.) Back in 2005, when Hank Paulson was chief of Goldman, he personally helped author the bank’s environmental policy, a document that contains some surprising elements for a firm that in all other areas has been consistently opposed to any sort of government regulation.

Paulson’s report argued that “voluntary action alone cannot solve the climate-change problem.” Few years later, the bank’s carbon chief, Ken Newcombe, insisted that cap-and-trade alone won’t be enough to fix the climate problem and called for further public investments in research and development. Which is convenient, considering that Goldman made early investments in wind power (it bought a subsidiary called Horizon Wind Energy), renewable diesel (it is an investor in a firm called Changing World Technologies) and solar power (it partnered with BP Solar), exactly the kind of deals that will prosper if the government forces energy producers to use cleaner energy. As Paulson said at the time, “We’re not making those investments to lose money.”

The bank owns a 10 percent stake in carbon credits will be traded. Moreover, Goldman owns a minority stake in Blue Source LLC, a Utah-based firm that sells carbon credits of the type that will be in great demand if the bill passes. Nobel Prize winner Al Gore, who is intimately involved with the planning of cap-and-trade, started up a company called Generation Investment Management with three former bigwigs from Goldman Sachs Asset Management, David Blood, Mark Ferguson and Peter Hanis. Their business? Investing in carbon offsets, There’s also a $500 million Green Growth Fund set up by a Goldmanite to invest in green-tech…the list goes on and on. Goldman is ahead of the headlines again, just waiting for someone to make it rain in the right spot. Will this market be bigger than the energy-futures market?

“Oh, it’ll dwarf it,” says a former staffer on the House energy committee.

Well, you might say, who cares? If cap-and-trade succeeds, won’t we all be saved from the catastrophe of global warming? Maybe but cap-and-trade, as envisioned by Goldman, is really just a carbon tax structured so that private interests collect the revenues. Instead of simply imposing a fixed government levy on carbon pollution and forcing unclean energy producers to pay for the mess they make, cap and trade will allow a small tribe of greedy-as-hell Wall Street swine to turn yet another commodities market into a private tax-collection scheme. This is worse than the bailout: It allows the bank to seize taxpayer money before it’s even collected.

I implore you not to sit on the couch. Contact your Senators now, via calls, emails AND letters. Contact other Senators, especially Democrats. Do it all, for our own sake, the sake of our children, and that of our increasingly fragile country. It is more important than most anything else you could do today. Keep it up until we (hopefully) defeat this insanity…when the genie is out of the bottle we will be unable to undo the damage.

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