This week, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee began debate on comprehensive climate change legislation, S. 1733, otherwise known as cap-and-trade. This legislation represents a new tax in the order of more than $1,700 per American household annually, and, if it’s passed, American families can expect to see considerable increases in the cost of electricity, gas, food and utilities. It is clear that most Americans families’ standard of living will be reduced if this cap-and-trade bill is approved by Congress.
Every legitimate economic analysis says that this bill is a bad idea ? the Energy Information Administration, the Congressional Budget Office, the National Black Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Brookings Institute and the Heritage Foundation are all in agreement on that point. The impact of these new regulations on American jobs and energy prices cannot be marginalized or ignored.
The CBO has stated that mining and refining jobs will be among the industries most impacted by the proposed cap-and-trade program. However, nearly every product manufactured requires some derivative from oil and natural gas or other minerals. How can it be a strategically sound idea for the United States to become more dependent on mined and refined products from foreign countries?
A critical point in this whole debate is that China, India and Russia have made it unequivocally clear that they have no intention of agreeing to a cap on carbon emissions, and all three are aggressively pursuing natural resource assets around the world and increasing energy production from fossil fuels. It would be naïve for us to think that U.S. businesses will be able to effectively compete on the international level when they are subject to carbon caps and regulation, increased energy costs and an easily manipulated market scheme. Secretary Chu mentions in his testimony that China is spending $9 billion a month on clean energy. They are also building two coal fired power plants a week, increasing nuclear power generation and securing oil and other mineral resources across the globe.
Despite my concerns with the idea of a cap-and-trade program, I do support investment and research in renewable technologies. And I do believe that a robust plan for investment should be in place, but to do so should not borrow money from China or steal money from American families under the guise of global warming.
The greatest opportunity for investment in new technologies is revenue generated from increased domestic energy production. Recent analysis suggests that increased domestic resource production could generate $8 trillion in GDP, $2.2 trillion in incremental tax receipts and perhaps two million jobs or more ? all without borrowing a dime or increasing taxes even a penny.
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