Last week the House of Representatives narrowly passed a massive new energy tax that will have devastating consequences for every single American. Congressman Henry Waxman, Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushed through the so-called “American Clean Energy and Security” legislation, which implements a cap and trade system or more accurately: cap and tax. The simple truth behind this legislation is that it raises taxes, kills jobs and will lead to more government intrusion and I have been speaking out against this legislation for months. I have a number of publications talking about the seriousness of this issue if you check my website there are far more details available to you.
The cap and tax proposal is really an $846 billion national energy tax that will be paid for by anyone who turns on a light switch, plugs in an appliance, takes a hot shower or drives a car. At a time when folks are struggling to pay the bills, we should not be adding additional costs to their utility bills. A national energy tax will do more harm than good. President Obama even said when referring to Democrats’ cap and tax plan that utility rates would ‘necessarily skyrocket.’ All for the promise of slowing temperature increases by merely hundredths of a single degree Fahrenheit by the year 2050 and not more than two tenths of a degree by the end of the century.
Additionally, moving into a cap and tax system will place the United States economy at a distinct competitive disadvantage because it would place significant additional costs on every American business, farmer, manufacturer, and family. It is estimated that the proposal will raise electricity rates 90%, gas prices 74%, and natural gas prices 55% which will cause the price of every good and service to significantly increase. All while eliminating 1.8 to 7 million jobs that our economy so desperately needs. These jobs will simply move overseas to countries where there are no cap and trade regulations.
The cap and tax legislation raises prices on consumers by hindering the development of traditional energy sources, while limiting the development of renewable energy. Coal provides the majority of the electricity generation in our country, and this bill will effectively stop coal-fired power plants from being built in the U.S. The cleanest way for utilities to control CO2 emissions is to increase the supply of carbon-free nuclear energy although nuclear is effectively ignored by the bill.
In effect this legislation turns off the ability to produce energy from reliable sources in favor of energy technologies that have not proven that they can meet the energy demands of our nation. While I believe it is important for our nation to reevaluate our energy policies, we cannot ignore that America’s economy is intrinsically linked to the availability and affordability of energy. During this economic slow-down we should adopt policies that seek to rebuild our economy and create more jobs. Instead of government mandates and bureaucracy we should focus on policies that support technological advances and consumer choices. The bottom line is that we need energy policies which encourage investment in environmentally sound, cost-effective practices without stifling innovation. Unfortunately, cap and trade legislation would only further cripple our economy.
By Bob Goodlatte