It was really only a matter of time before Kyoto morphed into an excuse for protectionism.

The closer the United States gets to adopting a cap-and-trade system to control greenhouse gas emissions, the more frightening it gets.

Not because the plan now under debate in the U. S. Congress would complicate the lives of energy producers, or impose new costs on consumers. Those drawbacks might be bearable if the system was truly designed to reduce emissions, and if the expense was reasonable. The alarm results from increasing evidence that emissions have become a secondary concern of a plan whose main purpose is to serve the partisan interests of the Democratic Party.

The Democrats’ evident determination to use global warming to mask a transfer of wealth from one part of the country to another mirrors the ill-starred Green Shift proposed by former Liberal leader Stephane Dion, which began as a means of fighting emissions and ended up as an anti-poverty program financed by Alberta for the benefit of more Liberal-friendly parts of the country.

Barack Obama has his work cut out for him if he truly wants to avoid being called the Depression President.