Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What Cap and Trade Will Cost Americans

From Western Pennsylvania COAL COUNTRY -Congressman Bill Shuster, a Republican, of course- and WELL worth the read. BL

JULY 2009

A Note on Cap and Trade

On June 26th the House narrowly passed controversial cap and trade legislation that will fundamentally change the way we buy and use energy in America . I voted no on this extreme bill.

Cap and trade was sold to the American people as a way to cut carbon emissions, but it is actually a massive new tax on energy that will make the products we buy and use everyday more expensive to make and for consumers to own.

Estimates show that the average family in Pennsylvania will see a $3,100 jump in their annual electric bill because of this new national energy tax. This isn’t an unintended consequence of the legislation. President Obama actually predicted this price spike last year when he said, "electricity rates would naturally skyrocket" under his cap-and-trade system. Nationally, electricity rates will jump 90 percent; gas prices will jump 74 percent; and natural gas by 55 percent.

We won’t just see these price increases at the pump or at the light switch. Higher energy prices mean the cost of producing goods increases as well. In a weak economy like ours higher production costs force producers to cut expenses in other areas, like cutting the number of employees they have. That is why economists estimate cap and trade will destroy close to a million American jobs a year. By 2012 alone, our region of central and western Pennsylvania would see a loss of 3,085 jobs and a $500 million in personal income disappear.

Instead of attacking the financial livelihoods of hard working Americans during a recession and punishing business with higher costs, I support a Republican plan that would lower carbon emissions by building a bridge to the next generation of renewable and alternative fuels. Along the way, the Republican plan would invest in our own domestic reserves of oil, coal and natural gas to create jobs to help our economy recover.

Cap and trade passed the House, but it’s future looks less bright in the Senate where moderate Democrats appear to have serious reservations about the plan’s cost. I will continue to oppose this job killing legislation in the House and I’d like your input on the issue. Visit my blog and comment on my posts about cap and trade.

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