Kerry – Lieberman Cap-and-Trade Legislation Rewards Wall Street and Members of President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board

Washington, DC – Responding to the introduction of the American Power Act by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), policy experts at the National Center for Public Policy Research are calling attention to the role big business and special interests played in shaping the bill.

“In reality the bill should be called the ‘American Corporate Power Act,’ since the legislation caters to big business demands while exposing Americans to the financial risks of a green investment bubble. By establishing a cap-and-trade scheme, Congress is incentivizing Wall Street to profit from a carbon trading market that is filled with risk,” said Tom Borelli Ph.D., director of the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project.

“Wall Street is a big winner with Kerry-Lieberman.,” Borelli added.  “The legislation’s cap-and-trade scheme powers a carbon trading market where banks will profit from the buying and selling of carbon credits and carbon offsets.  However, by pursuing a quick buck, Wall Street is overlooking the inherent risk of trading carbon dioxide. Through cap-and-trade, the government is by decree, making carbon dioxide a commodity – something of value that can be traded. But carbon dioxide has no intrinsic value; it’s a ubiquitous naturally occurring gas.”

“Unlike other commodities such as gold, silver, even orange juice or pork bellies – with carbon dioxide you can’t eat it, wear it or build with it. If Wall Street could not manage the risk with real estate where land has actual value, how can they manage risk with carbon dioxide?” asks Tom Borelli.

“It’s outrageous that Congress, in its rush to establish a carbon trading market, is ignoring reports of fraud that has plagued the European carbon market,” said Tom Borelli.
General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt and Al Gore’s venture capital partner John Doerr are members of President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. GE and Kliner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers – Doerr’s firm – have made huge bets on green technologies and stand to profit handsomely from the Kerry – Lieberman legislation.

Both Immelt and Doerr issued statements supporting the American Power Act following the bill introduction.

“The alignment of business and government interests to mandate a carbon trading market and sales in green technologies is truly frightening. President Obama has ushered in a new era of politics where he financially rewards supporters of his progressive agenda at a great cost to the American people,” said Deneen Borelli, full-time fellow with Project 21.

“Let’s not forget that Spain’s green jobs initiative was a miserable failure. Why would a green jobs program be any different here in the U.S.,” added Deneen Borelli.

“The business community is making a mistake by seeking profits on the backs of the Americans who are going to get saddled with the burdens of higher energy prices. Stopping cap-and-trade is very high on the agenda of the ‘Contract from America’ – the Tea Party legislative agenda for Congress. Companies will soon discover that alienating millions of customers is a bad business strategy,” said Deneen Borelli.

The National Center For Public Policy Research is a conservative, free-market non-profit think-tank established in 1982. It is supported by the voluntary gifts of over 100,000 individual recent supporters, and receives less than one percent of its revenue from corporate sources.


The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.