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Stop Cap-and-Tax

Posted by Richard on June 24, 2009

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats are trying to ram through the Waxman-Markey "Cap and Trade" bill this week. It seems that the more radical, expensive, and consequential a bill is, the less time the Democrats want to allow for consideration and debate. This godawful 1200-page monster that no one has read is projected to cost us $2 trillion in just the next eight years and almost $10 trillion by 2035. More accurately described as "Cap-and-Tax," it would be by far the largest tax increase in the history of the world.

It's debatable which is the more radical and dangerous — this so-called energy bill or the health care reform bill still being drafted. Robert E. Murray says it's Waxman-Markey:

Perhaps the most destructive legislation in our country's history will, as soon as this week, be voted on in the House of Representatives: the Waxman-Markey tax bill in the guise of addressing climate change.

It will have adverse and lingering consequences for every American. It will raise the cost of electricity in our homes, the fuel for our cars and the energy that produces our manufacturing jobs, with little or no environmental benefit.

All Americans in the Midwest, South and Rocky Mountain regions will be most drastically affected because the climate change legislation will destroy the nation's coal industry and the low-cost electricity it has provided to these regions for generations.

Wealth will be transferred away from almost every state to the West Coast and New England.

In other words, from the red states to the blue states. As the Church Lady would say, "How convenient."

The legislation discards coal and low-cost energy with it by setting an unattainable cap on carbon dioxide emissions by 2020, with the first reductions due by 2012.

Reliable estimates show that this bill will cost each American family at least $3,000 more in energy costs each year, notwithstanding the $2 trillion cost to the economy in just eight years. The chief executive of one of the nation's major utilities recently said it best in the Wall Street Journal:

"The 25 states that depend on coal for more than 50% of their electricity . . . will have to shut down and replace the majority of their fossil fuel plants as a result of the climate change legislation."

Supporters of the bill claim that won't happen because of carbon credits it gives to utilities and investments it makes in "carbon capture" technologies. Nonsense (emphasis added): 

But this technology will not be commercially available for at least 15 to 20 years, long after the reductions are required in 2012 and long after our coal plants are shut down and our manufacturing jobs are exported to China, India and other countries.

All these countries have stated that they will not place any restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions. China alone, which has surpassed the United States in carbon dioxide emissions, brings a new 500-megawatt coal-fired power plant on line every week. They will have low-cost electricity, and America will massively export more jobs to them.

Investor's Business Daily called it intense pain for no environmental gain, and said the immediate economic consequences would be disastrous: 

The bill would also cause an additional 1.1 million job losses each year, raise electricity rates 90% after adjusting for inflation, provoke a 74% hike in inflation-adjusted gasoline prices, and add $1,500 to the average family's annual energy bill, says Heritage.

The Congressional Budget Office says the poorest one-fifth of families could see annual energy costs rise $700 — while high-income families could see costs rise $2,200. Harvard economist Martin Feldstein estimates that the average person could pay an extra $1,500 per year for energy. And those are just direct energy costs.

The bill requires CO2 emissions to be cut 83% by 2050, reducing them to the 1908 level. If you're now cheering because you believe the dire predictions of global climatic catastrophe, guess what? It won't make a difference (emphasis added): 

Even worse, the draconian rules would have no detectable benefits, even assuming CO2 does cause climate change. Using global warming alarmists' own computer models, research climatologist Chip Knappenberger calculated that the painful 83% reductions would result in global temperatures rising a mere 0.1 degrees F less by 2050 than doing nothing. That's because Chinese and Indian emissions would quickly dwarf America's job-killing reductions.

Call and/or email your congresscritter today. Or send a letter via the National Taxpayers Union. Go to American Solutions and sign the petition. Contribute to the ad campaign if you can. Let's stop this misbegotten monstrosity.

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One Response to “Stop Cap-and-Tax”

  1. Janet Brown said

    Thank you for finally explaining that so well. This is just one more reminder that the only real way to keep our economy strong is not by raising taxes, but by keeping taxes low, fair and simple. I’ve been looking for a way to take action and contact our legislators and sign petitions and found some good policy the U.S. Chamber of Commerce backs (here). I don’t have a lot of money or time, but I figure this will help other people do good.

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