*This blog originally published on RedState.
by Rep. George Radanovich (CA)
This week, as the stock market continues its perilous slide towards an unknown abyss; the House Energy and Commerce Committee will begin hearings on a national energy tax bill that will cost every American household $3,128 a year for the “right” to emit carbon dioxide.
The discussion draft of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) has four primary objectives (a renewable energy production mandate; improving energy efficiency; a cap and tax on carbon emissions; and creating “green collar” jobs) with one common thread tying them all together—central government planning.
ACES is nothing more than a veiled attempt to bring more of the private sector underneath big government’s tent while creating a $1.3 trillion slush fund for liberal social agendas under the guise of environmental do-goodism.
Most importantly, for a cap and tax bill to be effective and produce the goals of carbon emission reductions outlined in ACES (83 percent reduction of 2005 levels by 2050); energy is going to have to get expensive—oppressively expensive. Even President Obama admitted cap and tax bill would cause electricity prices to “necessarily skyrocket.”
The entire premise behind a cap and tax energy proposal is to punish those who produce, thereby punishing those who consume, which by my quick math amounts to everyone in the United States. Unfortunately, the sadistic nature of radical environmentalism is the disproportionate impact on the poor. While there are some families in this country who can afford to be burdened by a $3,128 energy tax—the vast majority cannot.
Worse, ACES’s provisions to create a new green economy will steal jobs from many low to middle class Americans. In fact, a recent study of Spain’s renewable job program found that the U.S. can expect 2.2 jobs to be destroyed for every 1 “green” job manufactured and subsidized by the government. Ironically, the Institute of Energy Research notes that “according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Spain’s annual emissions of carbon dioxide have increased by nearly 50 percent since the nation began its aggressive push to subsidize and support ‘green jobs.’”
The questions one should ask when thinking about global warming legislation are: Can I afford a $3,128 tax? Can I afford 60-144 percent increase in gas prices? Can I afford to have my job shipped overseas because my employer can’t afford to stay in business with a 77-128 percent increase in electricity prices? My guess is, the answers to all three are “no”—I know I can’t and neither can my constituents, which is why I’ll be working to defeat this devastating legislation.