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Simply Brilliant, Tax Them When They’re Down

New Mexico, like the rest of the country, is feeling the squeeze of the economic crisis. And, what priority have some legislators and the Governor come up with for this legislative session?

New Mexico legislators are considering a bill that would, for the first time, set up state controls on greenhouse gas emissions. But the change of administration in Washington, and the resulting prospect of federal regulation, has raised questions about whether the state effort should proceed.

The measure’s backers say there are still good reasons to impose a state “cap-and-trade” system as part of the Western Climate Initiative, a regional effort by 11 U.S. states and Canadian provinces to place a limit on greenhouse gas emissions and set up a market to allow industry to trade emissions credits.

The system would cap the overall emissions from the state’s 100-or-so largest industrial greenhouse gas emitters. A trading system would allow companies to buy and sell emissions allowances, tapping market mechanisms to find the lowest-cost way of making the needed reductions.

The ridiculousness of this proposal is mind-boggling to me. Assuming you have embraced this whole chicken-little-the-world-is-getting-too-hot-we’re-all-doomed global warming nonsense, then you’d at a very minimum have to agree that it is a GLOBAL phenomenon.

Keeping this in mind, that idea the 11 Western (and for the most part sparsely populated) states are going to reverse “the global warming trend” is just absurd. Even more insane is that one of those states, our own Land of Enchantment, which heavily depends on oil and gas revenue to stay afloat, is going to consider taxing the heck out of those industries at a time when they are at a serious low.

Make no mistake, that is exactly what a cap and trade program is – a new source of tax revenue for bloated governments in need. That is the only reason that these states think “there are still good reasons to impose a state ‘cap-and-trade’ system” instead of waiting for a federal, or better yet, global solution.

Now, I have to admit. If New Mexico were to move forward with this, the may in fact succeed in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the state. Why? Well, because they will drive those “100-or-so largest industrial greenhouse gas emitters” to one of the 39 states in the Union that do not have this tax system in place.