Monday, June 1, 2009

A National Energy Tax is Not the Answer to our Problems

An editorial by Congressman Shuster:

Consumers are good at telling when a company is pulling a bait and switch. That same critical eye should be used when Congress tries to sell the American people an ambitious proposal like cap-and-trade. Sure it may look environmentally conscious, but cap-and-trade has buyer beware written all over it.

Cap-and-trade is a bait and switch. It won’t cut greenhouse gas emissions or make America stronger with “green jobs.” In reality, this plan would result in our unilateral economic disarmament by killing jobs at home and shipping them overseas. What cap-and-trade means for you is the imposition of a huge national energy tax that will charge you whenever you flip a light switch, buy food, take public transportation or fuel your car.

The average family in Pennsylvania will see a $3,100 jump in their annual electric bill through this national energy tax. Nationally electricity rates will jump 90 percent; gas prices will jump 74 percent; and natural gas by 55 percent. President Obama actually predicted this price spike last year when he said, “electricity rates would naturally skyrocket” under cap-and-trade. No wonder 77 percent of those polled in a recent ABC survey were concerned by what the Democrats’ national energy tax actually means for their families.

If this energy tax is put into effect, between 2010 and 2035 the gross domestic product of the United States will drop by $9 trillion. This means our economy will shrink and unemployment will soar. Close to a million jobs a year will be destroyed by the national energy tax and many of them will be lost in coal rich Pennsylvania.

President Obama and congressional Democrats know the national energy tax is a job killer. That’s why they spend so much time talking about how many “green jobs” their plan will create. However, for every green job created, others are wiped out. Look at Spain – a leader in Europe’s green economy. For every green job created in Spain 2.2 jobs are lost and only 1 in 10 of those green jobs ever becomes permanent. If green jobs are the answer like the Democrats say, why does Spain have one of Europe’s highest unemployment rates at over 17 percent?

I am deeply concerned with the well being of our environment, but we must be careful to make sensible decisions when it comes to massive regulatory changes to our economy. Passing a national energy tax like cap-and-trade would be disastrous for our economy, especially during a recession. Losing over a million jobs and forever altering the landscape of America is not the right decision for our future. Cap-and-trade is not the answer.

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