Global warming and the environment are the subjects of by tze65444


									Global warming and the environment are the subjects of a substantial number of bills that
have been introduced into the current session of the Maryland legislature. Among the
more far reaching proposals, “Global Warming Solutions – Reductions in Greenhouse
Gases” (HB 712, SB 309), would set up a statewide cap and trade system to reduce
carbon dioxide emissions and hence slowing global warming. A cap and trade system
would set declining annual emissions limits, and allow emissions trading within the
system according to established rules. The system would also take into account
emissions from the generation of electricity which is imported into the state. Emissions
allowances would be distributed by public auctions; income from these fees would go to
a Maryland Clean Air Fund, to be used for research and promotion of new clean energy
and renewable energy technologies. This income could be supplemented by a carbon tax
not to exceed four cents per ton of carbon dioxide emissions. The legislation sets as its
goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10% by 2012, 15% by 2015, 25% by 2020,
and 90% by 2050.
             Discussion of global warming is made more difficult by economic
philosophies which originated in a very different world outlook some 200 years ago. In
Adam Smith’s time nature’s resources were considered to be infinite and inexhaustible,
controllable by humans -- but it was assumed that any human impacts on nature could be
safely ignored. The many useful functions provided by nature, such as crop pollination,
were not taken into consideration. Consequently, economic calculations omitted
environmental costs or considerations of the limited capacity of natural resources.
Growth rather than development was considered the primary economic goal.
  Today’s world is very different: Global population is six times bigger and the gross
world product is 58 times bigger. Nature and its resources exert a highly critical impact
on our economy and our daily living. Government or government sponsored groups
needs to play a much bigger role in solving our environmental problems than in earlier
eras. But the economic philosophy of 200 years ago still guides political decisions with
regard to the economy in some quarters.
        Opponents of HB 712/SB309 raise numerous objections. They assert that
businesses will be adversely affected by such legislation, and will move to other states or
offshore. Costs of measures to control global warming will likely be passed on to
consumers. The environment of Maryland cannot be isolated from other states and will
largely be at the mercy of actions by adjacent states. In any event, Maryland’s actions
will largely come to naught if other states and other countries do not take similar actions.
Cap and Trade systems are vulnerable to gaming and cheating, and may result in certain
low income geographical areas being subjected to extraordinarily high levels of
pollution. Much of the technology needed to substantially reduce greenhouse gas
emissions does not yet exist.
        Proponents of HB 712/SB 309 note that curbing climate change would cost about
1% of the gross world economic product. But the cost of doing nothing to curb climate
change would amount to a loss of 5-20% of gross product per year over the course of this
century. Global warming alreadyimpacts agricultural outputs, water supplies, human
health and species loss. To carry out a sustainable economy on into future generations it
is essential to move from exploited ecosystems to sustainable ecosystems. To
accomplish this, the goal of our economies must change from growth to development to
meet human needs, though some growth will continue as a byproduct of development.
Otherwise, both ecosystems and economies will eventually collapse. Instituting Cap-and-
Trade and carbon taxes moves from taxing only economic “goods” (payroll and
personal/corporate income taxes) to also taxing “bads” (carbon dioxide pollution). A
situation in which some groups act responsibly to reduce greenhouse gas emissions -- and
others do not -- constitutes a classical case of the “tragedy of the commons.” But by
taking the lead to carry out change, states can utilize the most effective way to eventually
head off this tragedy. By actively supporting the creation of new technology within the
state to increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gases – as this legislation does
-- much but not all of the consequences of curbing greenhouse gas emissions can be
offset. Within the 200 year old philosophy of economics, reducing greenhouse gases will
involve net losses. But in a realistic economic analysis based on modern knowledge,
curbing greenhouse gases will result in a net gain.
         Some of us will be communicating with our Maryland Assembly delegation along
the following lines. You may or may not agree with the thoughts expressed. You may
elect to use the text of this message, or you can increase your influence by composing
your own message. Further, you may elect to telephone your thoughts to your legislators.

        Special Note: Sixty-nine legislators have signed on as co-sponsors of the Global
Warming Solutions legislation. They are listed at the close of this message. If your
legislator is one of the cosponsors, you may wish to send that legislator a special message
thanking him/her for cosponsoring the legislation, and perhaps asking that person for
continued active support for the bill.
                                                4852 Ten Oaks Road
                                                 Dayton, Maryland 21036

Honorable Allan Kittleman
Maryland State Senate
Annapolis, Maryland
Dear Senator Kittleman:

       This is to ask for your vigorous support for HB712/SB309, Global Warming
       If we do not act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the annual cost
worldwide will be 5 to 20 times greater than the cost of reducing these emissions in a
timely manner. This bill would secure state revenue from “bads” (greenhouse gas
emissions) rather than from “goods” (payroll and personal/corporate income taxes).
Maryland would gain new industries and jobs by supporting the creation of new
technology to increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gases. By taking
ecosystems into account would change economic loss into a net benefit.
       Thank you.

Don’t know who your legislators are? Go to
Cosponsors of HB712/HB309

State Senate: Senators Pinsky, Brochin, Currie, Forehand, Frosh, Garagiola,
Gladden, Jones, Kelley, King, Lenett, Madaleno, Muse, Peters, Pugh, Raskin,
Robey, Rosapepe, and Stone

House of Delegates: Delegates Barve, Ali, Anderson, Barkley, Barnes, Bobo, Branch,
Bromwell, Bronrott, Cardin, Carr, G. Clagett, Doory, Dumais, Feldman, Frick,
Gilchrist, Gutierrez, Guzzone, Heller, Hixson, Holmes, Hubbard, Hucker, Ivey,
James, Jones, Kaiser, Kullen, Lafferty, Lee, Manno, Mizeur, Montgomery,
Morhaim, Nathan-Pulliam, Niemann, Pendergrass, Ramirez, Reznik, Rice,
Rosenberg, Ross, Schuler, Simmons, Stein, Taylor, F. Turner, Waldstreicher, and

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