Cap and Trade Will Cost American Families Thousands in New Taxes and Millions of Jobs

Posted: Apr 23, 2009 12:06 PM
Guest blog post by Rep. Steve Scalise (R.-La).

President Obama is proposing a “cap and trade” energy tax that will raise utility costs on every American family to generate $646 billion in new taxes, while shipping millions of American jobs to foreign countries.

 I am very concerned about how the liberals in Congress plan to mark-up the climate change bill in the Energy and Environment Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee next week. The most important parts of this bill are left blank, and without details, the Demoract leadership on this committee is attempting to hide the true cost that American families will have to pay if this bill becomes law.  This process severely lacks transparency and is a disservice to the American people.
While the debate on the causes of climate change are far from settled, as well as the cost of the Waxman/Markey bill, what has not been disputed is the fact that a cap and trade energy tax will cost this country millions of good jobs and will force the average American family to pay thousands of dollars in increased energy costs. The Congressional Budget Office says, “Most of the cost of meeting a cap on CO2 emissions would be borne by consumers who would face persistently higher prices for products such as electricity and gasoline.”
According to Peter Orszag, the President’s own budget director, the average American family would pay about $1300 more in utility costs per year for a 15% reduction in CO2 emissions, which is 80 percent less than the cap sought in President Obama’s proposed budget. Orszag testified before Congress last year saying that price increases borne by consumers are essential to the success of their “cap and trade” energy tax.
Even President Obama has acknowledged that the cap and trade energy tax will lead to higher electricity prices when he said, “under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” 
As a member of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over national energy policy, I will continue fighting to oppose bad policies that threaten our economy. Rather than a "cap and trade" scheme that will raise taxes on American families and ship millions of jobs overseas, we need to pass a comprehensive national energy policy that will further develop the technologies for renewable sources of energy like wind and solar, encourage more conservation, while also expanding our own natural resources including oil, natural gas, clean coal, and nuclear power.

Congressman Scalise represents Louisiana's 1st district and serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and on its Subcommittee on Energy and Environment.