Democrats, Big Labor, and Radical Environmentalists Plot Rule Changes for Post-Election Climate Bill
White House climate czar Carol Browner recently floated the prospect of Congress passing climate change legislation—a national energy tax—during a lame-duck session sometime after November 2, 2010. Conventional wisdom suggests that newly-retired and unaccountable Democrats in the House and Senate would be more willing to vote for an unpopular climate bill after Election Day.
Right on cue, labor unions and well-heeled environmentalists are now stepping up lobbying efforts across the country to push for a lame-duck national energy tax bill. Moreover, the president of the Communications Workers of America union says this coalition is even willing to help change Senate rules if it would grease the skids for climate legislation becoming law. Big Labor clearly sees big time special interest payoff in such massive government in the energy industry. As Michael Langford, president of the Utility Workers Union of America, put it, “It’s not very often we get an opportunity to create an industry, and this is that time.”
So what exactly do Americans have to look forward to in a lame-duck national energy tax? According to the Heritage Foundation, a bill similar to the House-passed Waxman-Markey legislation would lead to:
-- Cumulative gross domestic product (GDP) losses of $9.4 trillion between 2012 and 2035;
-- Single-year GDP losses reaching $400 billion by 2025 and ultimately exceeding $700 billion;
-- Net job losses approaching 1.9 million in 2012 and 2.5 million by 2035. Manufacturing would lose 1.4 million jobs in 2035.
-- A typical family of four will pay an additional $829 each year for energy-based utility costs.
-- Gasoline prices will go up 58 percent and average household electric rates will increase by 90 percent.