The cap-and-trade system for controlling greenhouse gas emissions that is being promoted by the Obama administration and congressional Democrats is a “dead end” and “an enormous threat to our economy,” according to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

“It would undermine our recovery over the short term and would inflict permanent damage,” Palin wrote in an op-ed article published in the Washington Post Tuesday.

According to Palin, the cap-and-trade system would immediately increase unemployment in the energy sector and other jobs would be threatened by the cost of doing business under the plan. Cap-and-trade will also increase the cost of electricity, she said.

Instead, she said, the country should focus on domestically available fuels, including natural gas, coal and oil, and drilling offshore and in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

“Can America produce more of its own energy through strategic investments that protect the environment, revive our economy and secure our nation? Yes, we can. Just not with Barack Obama’s energy cap-and-tax plan,” Palin wrote.

The House passed climate change and energy legislation, including a cap-and-trade system, on June 26 (see Daily GPI, June 30). Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, recently pushed back to early September her timeline for completing mark-up on climate change legislation, which is based on a cap-and-trade system (see Daily GPI, July 10). The Senate is expected to debate climate change on the floor this fall, assuming there is no conflict with debate on health care legislation.

Palin’s article was published one day after Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, outlined a Republican response to what he called the Democrats’ “job-killing” and expensive cap-and-trade system (see Daily GPI, July 14). The four-step plan calls for the construction of 100 new nuclear power plans over the next two decades; increased offshore oil and natural gas exploration; electric vehicles; and the doubling of energy research to make renewable energy cost-competitive.

Earlier this month Palin announced that she plans to resign as governor effective July 26 and will not run for reelection in 2010.

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