Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cap-and-Trade Energy Legislation

In an attempt to legislate our behaviors and mindsets, our House of Representatives has passed another bill to limit our freedoms. While I agree that we are stewards of this Earth, we must do our best to keep the air, water and land in which we live as clean as possible. But not just for our well being but for the other creatures on this planet, as we are all intertwined in this existence. By the same token we must do what is best for mankind first and foremost. The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 -- “cap-and-trade” energy legislation that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, sounds like a great idea on the surface. Who doesn’t want clean energy and security? But looking deeper at the impact this legislation will have on the economy is staggering. This will be the largest tax increase in US history. Under a cap-and-trade system, government sets a cap on the total amount of carbon that can be emitted nationally; companies then buy or sell permits (tax) to emit CO2. The cap gets cranked down over time to reduce total carbon emissions. Barack Obama admits this will increase our energy costs. In the midst of an economic downturn, this legislation will tie the hands of our manufacturing capabilities and drive jobs overseas. As manufacturing leaves this country the need for those products will not go away. Instead these companies will make just as much CO2 making the same products but only on the other side of the world. The cost of skyrocketing electricity will sap the profits and disposable incomes from businesses and families alike. This will cause sharply rising inflation as companies try to recoup their losses. This legislation might have little effect on us if we could all walk to our local marketplace and purchase the items we need that were brought there by tradesmen and farmers via their oxen drawn carts.

As energy prices soar, the low income families and the elderly will see a greater percentage of their wage keeping them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Consumers will then need assistance to meet their bills and ask for the Federal Government to subsidize energy costs. After all, if our taxes can heal all of those without healthcare insurance we should surely keep them alive to treat them.

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