The "American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009" (ACES), the Democrats’ controversial climate change legislation, hit the ground running this afternoon in a discussion draft session to preclude a series of hearings on the bill beginning tomorrow morning.
The legislation, introduced by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman and Chairman of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee and Select Committee on Global Warming Edward J. Markey, is troublesome because it does not include crucial economic and regulatory details. Most notably, the cap and trade proposal included in the bill is incomplete, providing no specifics on how energy resources will be regulated or purchased.
The bill would set new greenhouse gas emission and efficiency standards, create a carbon cap and trade program and change a host of federal energy and environmental statutes, as well as introduce a variety of new, complex regulations.
Another major concern is the renewable energy standard included in the bill. This would require energy companies to purchase part of their electricity from renewable energy sources or be charged a fee. For states with little access to renewable energy resources, this will be an unnecessary and unfair financial burden.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, said "...we must be honest when we discuss this system. It will pull thousands more out of the family budget every year. There is simply no way around it and we are wrong to try and sugar-coat it."
Essentially, the climate change bill creates higher energy prices, fewer jobs and forces more government into the lives of American citizens. Rep. Joe Barton, Republican Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, recently wrote, "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."
The hearings will include remarks from the CEO's of energy companies, scientists, researchers, environmentalists, economists, scholars and even former Vice-President Al Gore. Republicans are confident that Americans will reject the massive energy tax they will incur should this bill pass.
Stay tuned to the GOP.gov blog for regular updates on the debates beginning tomorrow morning. The hearings begin at 9:30am.