Cap-and-trade can’t bridge gap between unions and enviros
By: Booker T. Stallworth
August 30, 2009
Inspired by the speed and spending of the Apollo moon landing, the Apollo Alliance — a coalition of community organizers, environmentalists and big labor — is aggressively pushing President Barack Obama’s plan to regulate carbon emissions through cap-and-trade.
If a recent meeting of labor and environmentalists is any indication, however, cap-and-trade may end up in a disaster more reminiscent of the Apollo 13 mission than the triumphant Apollo 11 landing.
Earlier this month, the AFL-CIO and its Washington state affiliate hosted a conference on the proposal in Wenatchee, Wash. Despite labor’s seat at the table, Bob Baugh, executive director of the AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council, conceded that cap-and-trade posed a serious threat to workers, especially labor members in energy-intensive industries.
Baugh’s right. According to a recent report by the Heritage Foundation, Waxman-Markey would cost millions of jobs and would increase unemployment levels for every year: 1.9 million fewer jobs in 2012, and an average of 1.14 million fewer jobs from 2012 through 2035. Those industries most affected would include manufacturing, glass, plastic and rubber-product production, and the fabricated-metal industries — all heavily unionized sectors.