Cap-and-Trade: An Energy Tax in Disguise

The Democrat's Cap-and-Trade bill (HR 2454), which narrowly passed a procedural vote by the House Democrats today, is now being debated on the House floor. If this bill is passed, Republicans, such as Mark Pence of Indiana, say it will include "the largest tax increase in American history."

In accordance with this bill, Fox News reports that "The legislation would impose limits for the first time on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas pollution from power plants, factories, and refineries. It also would force a shift from coal and other fossil fuels to renewable and more efficient forms of energy. Supporters and opponents agreed the result would be higher energy costs, but disagreed widely on the impact on consumers."

While "Al Gore Democrats" claim that this so called cap-and-trade bill will help industries transition into a clean energy economy, we see the contrary- we see that this bill "amounts to the largest tax increase in American history under the guise of climate change."

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the bill will cost an average American household $175 a year. We Republicans remain skeptical of the analysis showing that the actual energy production costs will grow to $770 a year. "Industry groups have cited other studies showing much higher cost to the economy and to individuals."

This "cap-and-tax" bill will allow the federal government to oversee and control factories, refineries, and power-plants by allotting pollution allowances that can be bought and sold. Fox News explains that "both Obama and Pelosi prefer to focus on the economic issues rather than on what environmentalists view as the urgency of reducing carbon emissions blamed for global warming."

In testimony at The Heartland Institute's Conference on Climate Change, Senior Policy Analyst for Energy and Environment at the Heritage Foundation, Ben Lieberman, expressed the reasons that the economic pain is not justified by any supposed environmental gain. "This is an energy tax in disguise. Energy prices go up but it's done in such a roundabout and convoluted manner that proponents hope the public doesn't recognize it as a tax -- at least not until it is too late." Lieberman then goes on to explain that this bill, having only a trivial impact on the future concentrations of greenhouse gases, "is not only the wrong approach for the economy but may also be the wrong approach for reducing greenhouse gas emissions."

Lieberman predicts that the cap-and-trade will weaken and destabilize the economy and squeeze out innovation. "Innovation is really what we want. And we know from long experience that free economies innovate better than centrally planned ones. Cap and trade introduces a significant element of central planning and thus stifles innovation."

HR2454 is a disaster that American companies and households will have to pay for. How much more environmental fundamentalist propaganda will we allow to infiltrate our legislation?

 

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