by Rep. Gregg Harper (MS)
As the summer months quickly approach and families across the Third Congressional District start to plan vacations, our state and country continue to struggle with high energy costs. That is why the Democrats’ cap and trade energy plan – which should be called “cap and tax” – is a reckless proposal that will do more harm than good. The simple truth behind the Democrats’ energy plan is that it is nothing more than a national energy tax.
The Democrats’ energy plan is a $624 billion tax that will hit nearly every American family and business. If it becomes law, this new national energy tax will be paid by anyone who turns on a light switch or plugs in an appliance. According to a MIT study that looked similar to the Democrats’ plan, this legislation could increase your family’s energy costs by more than $3,100 a year.
An even greater disappointment is that those hardest hit by this massive tax will be the poor, who experts agree spend a greater percentage of their income on energy consumption than do higher income groups. So while every American will be paying more for energy, low-income households already living on the edge will be hurt even more.
Shockingly, President Obama understands the negative impact his energy plan will have on the families in Mississippi and America. While campaigning to be president, then-Senator Obama said, “Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket,” and continued by noting those costs would be passed along to consumers.
“Cap and tax” has sought to be an environmentally friendly plan, but the truth is it will likely push manufacturing plants overseas to countries with far less stringent environmental regulations, in effect exporting pollution to another part of the world and cutting jobs here. Let me be clear, I want to protect our environment, but not at the unnecessary expense of the well being of Mississippi’s families and employers. That is why the American Energy Solutions Group, chaired by U.S. Representative Mike Pence, Republican of Indiana, will host a series of National Energy Summits throughout the country with the goal of finding solutions that create more American jobs and lower energy prices for families and small businesses.
Congress should never put your family in a position of choosing between paying for food or paying your light bill. Republicans believe there are better solutions than paying more taxes for fewer jobs and more government. That is why I support an “all of the above” energy strategy that harnesses new technologies, like solar and wind, and increases American energy production from oil, natural gas and nuclear power in an environmentally-safe manner.