Climate bill would bloat federal agencies
Billions seen in new costs
By Amanda DeBard
Originally published 04:45 a.m., August 17, 2009, updated 01:29 p.m., August 17, 2009
The House-passed climate change bill, if enacted, would expand the federal government so much that it would take billions of dollars and thousands of new employees to implement.
Now-obscure federal agencies such as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission would have to become mini-behemoths in order to handle their expanded responsibilities. Congress would have to appropriate billions of dollars for more bureaucrats, much of which is not reflected in the House bill.
"The problem is that there's a mismatch between the government's capacity and its mission," said Darrell M. West, vice president and director of governance studies at the left-leaning Brookings Institution.
One provision would almost overnight create the nation's largest commodity market in which polluters would buy and sell rights to emit carbon dioxide. These rights - called allowances - are at the heart of the measure, which seeks to slash the amount of greenhouse gases by forcing polluters to curb their emissions or pay for the right to pollute.
"It could be a $2 trillion market within five years," said Bart Chilton, commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the government's expansion would cost $8 billion over a 10-year period. For the bill to operate effectively, nearly 1,500 regulations and mandates would have to be approved for at least 21 federal agencies. The rule-making process alone would take years. Read More
Here is the only guarantee anyone can make about the climate change legislation, it is going to cost all of us a lot of money. There are no guarantees that we have global warming or that this legislation would help stop it if there was. With the CBO claiming that it would cost the government around $8 billion just implement the program and the billions, if not trillions, that consumers will spend, is it the best idea? Is it worth bankrupting our country over? If, as a country, we are going to spend trillions of dollars, I want to see more assurances on our return on investment.