Cap-and-Trade Will Kill the Travel Industry

| by Heritage Foundation

Proponents of climate change legislation argue that a cap and trade will stop the polar ice caps from melting. This is critical to island nations relying on tourism as the primary source of economic activity. After all, who’s going to visit an island if it’s completely submerged by water? According to some reports, the Maldive Islands “in the Indian Ocean is about three feet above sea level, and scientists fear it could be submerged by 2050.”

This may or may not be an issue depending on what you read, but one thing’s for sure: the solution is not cap and trade. Climatologists project the Waxman-Markey cap and trade would only change global temperatures by five hundredths of a degree Celsius by 2050. Changing the weather to prevent rising sea levels and natural disasters is currently impossible, but adapting to them is not. Countries have shown this by better preparing for hurricanes—building better levees, rebuilding sand dunes and upgrading building codes to withstand damage.

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If you want to kill the travel industry, cap and trade is the way to do it. Cap and trade is nothing more than a massive tax on energy, and as we saw last summer with $4-a-gallon gas prices and expensive airline tickets, people will respond to high prices by canceling their travel arrangements. Steve Sear, Delta Air Lines vice president of global sales, stated:

The ACES act is a “cap-and-trade” scheme that would limit overall carbon emissions and require fuel and energy companies to buy and sell the right to pollute. This legislation could have a significant negative impact on already-strained U.S. airlines, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in additional fuel costs that will either have to be absorbed or passed on to customers.”

On top of that:

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Those additional costs will undermine the ultimate aim of the act—to decrease carbon emissions—by making it difficult, if not impossible, for U.S. airlines to invest in the technology and alternative fuels that can reduce harmful greenhouse gases.

ACES also would threaten our ability to provide jobs to thousands of U.S. workers, and airline service to hundreds of communities. It would put U.S. carriers in a competitive disadvantage against foreign airlines immune to the measure’s effects.”

Whether greenhouse gases are harmful is beside the point. An energy tax on any businesses will reduce the amount of money that can be spent on innovation and entrepreneurial activity that produce greater efficiency.