*This post was originially published on Red County.com.
by Rep. Joe Barton
Ranking Member, Committee on Energy and Commerce
People who work and pay taxes aren’t buying the cap-and-trade solution to global warming because they’re learning what it means to them. Here’s what the National Association of Manufacturers and others say are some of the unhappy news: A minimum loss of 1.8 million jobs; tax increases on families of $739-$6,752; electricity costs rising by 44 to 129 percent; gasoline prices up 61 cents to as much as $2.53; natural gas price hikes of 108 to 146 percent.
President Obama, however, promised to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 to a level last experienced around 1905, when the population was 83 million. The Census Bureau predicts that the 2050 population will be 419.9 million people, which means that our personal carbon footprint will have to shrink to a size last seen around the time that Gen. Custer was dying at the Little Bighorn.
It isn’t just skeptical Republicans finding fault with Democrats’ ideas, either. Among others in his party, the Democratic governor of West Virginia says cap and trade would clobber people. Gov. Joe Manchin called a locally proposed electric rate hike of 43 percent "a drop in the bucket compared to cap-and-trade." He warned ratepayers that "you’ll pay twice what you do now."
The president has a cheerier scenario that predicts average electricity bills will rise 79 percent, tops. That’s $936 a year, and while it may be OK in the White House, I wonder how acceptable it will be among the newly unemployed. The climate is changing, and that is normal. What’s not normal, and not acceptable, is a national policy that is proudly ignorant of working people’s daily battle against a recession that is consuming not only jobs, but hope, too.