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More American Energy Will Produce Lower Prices, More American Jobs

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Families and small businesses across the nation face soaring costs of living, a struggling economy, and, as expected, rising gasoline prices as we head into the summer months. What is the Obama Administration’s solution? Make matters worse by putting the vast majority of America's offshore oil and natural gas resources off limits and doubling down on its “cap-and-trade” national energy tax that will destroy jobs and increase energy prices further.

The American people are looking for, and frankly demanding, that we do everything we can -- a true “all-of-the-above” strategy -- to create jobs, increase the supply of American-made energy, and lower gasoline prices. Republicans have offered such a plan, the American Energy Act. It would create more than one million good-paying jobs by pursing an all-of-the-above strategy to (1) increase production of American-made energy in an environmentally-sound manner; (2) promote new, clean and renewable sources of energy such as nuclear, clean-coal-technology, wind and solar energy; (3) encourage greater efficiency and conservation by extending tax incentives for energy efficiency and reward development of greater conservation techniques and new energy sources; and, (4) cut red-tape and reduce frivolous litigation.

But instead of embracing a comprehensive energy solution, Democrats are using the President’s decision to lock up the vast majority of America’s offshore oil and natural gas resources – which has been inaccurately portrayed by some as an “expansion of offshore oil and gas exploration,” – as cover to double down on their failed national energy tax.

Democrats call their national energy tax “cap-and-trade.” They use that term because no one seems to know what it means – but I’ll tell you in plain English what it would do: kill jobs and raise energy prices. The whole point is to drive the price of energy higher, forcing Americans to consume less and employers to pass increased costs on to customers. If you drive a car, buy food or a product manufactured in America, or have the audacity to flip on a light switch, you’ll pay under the Democrats’ national energy tax. Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) said this about it last year: “Nobody in this country realizes that cap and trade is a tax. And it’s a great big one.”

Karl Rove book FREE

Even the Obama Administration admitted that their energy tax would cost families up to $1,700 a year. And a recent study from Harvard found that to meet the Obama administration’s targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 14 percent by 2020, gas prices would have to reach $7 a gallon!

California has already begun experimenting with a “cap-and-trade” program. The results aren’t encouraging. Recent news reports indicate that in Southern California, residents may see their rates increased by as much as 30 percent, and Los Angeles’ Department of Water and Power has told businesses to expect a 21 percent hike this year.

House Democrats defied the will of the American people and passed this national energy tax last summer. Fully aware that it is deeply unpopular with the American people, Democrats are still moving ahead and planning for a Senate vote this summer on their own version of the national energy tax. At the same time, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is plotting a cascade of new regulations to impose “cap-and-trade” on the American people by fiat. I call it a backdoor national energy tax because the effect will be the same: higher energy prices and fewer jobs. Republicans have denounced this course of action – and have introduced a resolution of disapproval (H.J. Res. 77) to protect small businesses from the EPA’s backdoor, job-killing national energy tax. We will continue to do everything within our power to stop the EPA and ensure that the Democrats’ national energy tax never, ever becomes law.

Americans all across this country are asking "Where are the Jobs?" They've watched as Washington has gone on a massive spending spree and pile up more debt on our kids and grandkids. They've seen a partisan Congress defy the will of the American people and ram through a massive government takeover of health care that they don't want. They've watched Democratic politicians vote to give permanent bailouts to their friends on Wall Street at taxpayer expense. But what they haven't seen a real focus on helping small businesses create jobs.

Instead of punishing the American people with higher taxes and higher energy costs, the federal government should be opening up America’s vast untapped natural resources. The House Republicans’ all-of-the-above strategy would do just that – putting America on the path towards real energy independence, creating good paying jobs at home instead of shipping them overseas, and cleaning up the environment for our children and grandchildren at the same time. The American people don’t want a national energy tax – they want lower prices and more jobs. The House Republican plan is the comprehensive energy solution that will help deliver on that promise for the American people.

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