David Strom

In response to fears about global warming or "climate change" the Congress will soon begin debate about the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act, the main consequence of which is to raise the price of most of the energy you consume. The higher energy prices envisioned by the Act are intended to get consumers and manufacturers to cut back on energy consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Observers give the bill a 90% chance of passage by next year.

According to a study done by the American Council for Capital Formation and the National Association of Manufacturers, the Climate Security Act could raise retail prices for gasoline by 77%-145%, natural gas prices by 108% to 146%, and electricity prices by 101% to 129% by 2030. These price increases won't just hurt consumers directly, but will drive economic growth down as well. By 2030 the economy could be 8.3% to 8.5% smaller than if this bill didn't pass.

That's the equivalent of a pretty severe recession. One much more severe than the current economic problems we face today-and one that won't end until energy prices are allowed to fall.

How much chutzpa does it take for Congress to bash oil companies for energy price increases mostly outside their control at the same time they are working feverishly to raise the cost of energy through laws and regulations?

Energy is the lifeblood of a modern economy, and the only current sources of energy that can feed that economy today are fossil fuels, which emit carbon dioxide when used. And while it makes sense to research and develop renewable fuels, creating and implementing viable alternatives will take decades. Until then, lower greenhouse gas emissions will only come from lower energy use.

Congress should admit that that their policies have and will raise the price of energy. Instead, they are making energy companies the whipping boy for the consequences of their own policy decisions.

Congressmen are pretending to be the sheriff riding to the rescue of consumers, but in reality they are the chief bandits who are shaking us all down.

David Strom

David Strom is the President of the Minnesota Free Market Institute. He hosts a weekly radio show on AM-1280 "The Patriot" in Minneapolis-St. Paul, available on podcast at Townhall.com.

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