SEND YOUR CONGRESSMAN THE BILL

June 28, 2009

When my heating and electric bills go up an average of $92 a month. I plan on forwarding this increase to the eight Republican congressmen who voted with Pelosi and gang to raise my rates.

"Why?" you ask. The answer is quite simple.  Cap and Trade!

President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi scored a major victory with the House's approval of a landmark climate bill -- thanks to a little help from those eight moderate leaning Republicans.

Friday's vote was 219-212. The legislation was supported by 211 Democrats and eight aisle-crossing GOP members: Reps. Mary Bono (Calif.), Michael Castle (Del.), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Leonard Lance (N.J.), Frank LoBiondo (N.J.), John McHugh (N.Y.), David Reichert (Wash.) and Christopher Smith (N.J.). Forty-four Democrats voted against the bill, making the eight GOP votes all the more crucial.

House Minority Leader John Boehner said after the vote was taken that this will be "the biggest job-killing bill that’s ever been on the floor of the House of Representatives. Right here, this bill." He noted that he didn't believe this is what the American people wanted.

Indeed it isn't.  Although it may appear to be innocent enough, the bill's sponsor, Congressman Henry Waxman (D- Calif), does understand that there will be consequences if it is passed by the Senate. (President Obama is sure to sign it into law).Even though the bill is designed to create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution and transition to a clean energy economy.  All Americans who use any electricity will suffer.  Here is why...

Everyone agrees that under this "cap-and-trade" system the cost of energy is expected to increase as electricity producers and industrial plants pay for increased efficiency, move toward greater use of renewable energy, pay for ways to capture carbon emissions or purchase pollution allowances.

They disagree, however, on how much of the added cost would be passed onto consumers. Democrats argue that much of the cost increase could be offset by other provisions in the bill. I say if this isn't passed on to the consumers it would be a first.

Two reports issued this week - one from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and the other from the Environmental Protection Agency - seemed to support that argument. They showed household energy costs likely would increase only modestly, with most of the increase erased by improvements in efficiency, energy rebates and pollution allowances to energy-intensive sectors of the economy.

The CBO analysis estimated that the bill would cost an average household $175 a year, while the EPA put it at between $80 and $110 a year. Republicans questioned the validity of the CBO study and noted that even that analysis showed actual energy production costs increasing $770 per household. Industry groups have cited other studies showing much higher cost to the economy and to individuals. Some as high as $1100 a year per household.

Here's the silly thing about the whole bill - The Environmental Defense Fund says that over time, the cap will steadily decline, so that by the year 2050, greenhouse gas emissions will have been reduced by 83 percent.

But an analysis by Chip Knappenberger, administrator of the World Climate Report, says this goal would only reduce global temperature by 2050 by about one tenth of one degree Fahrenheit. What's wrong with this picture?

Although companies' emissions would be capped under the bill, those same companies would be able to purchase rights to emit pollution at levels above their cap from other companies falling short of their allowed emissions.  In effect, it becomes a sin tax, a cost that will simply be passed on to consumers.

For example, if an energy producer using coal-fired plants emits more gases than allowed, it could purchase further emission rights from another company, then pass that cost on to energy consumers in the form of higher electric bills. Not only would it affect our home heating bills, it would drive up overhead for business and industry, which again would be passed on to consumers through higher costs for goods and services.

The environmental behemoth Greenpeace is against the bill, saying the legislation has been weakened by industry lobbyists. Others call the legislation "cap and tax," and both those who are against or support the bill agree that the result would be higher energy costs on American consumers -- but the question is "how much?"

According to an analysis by the Heritage Foundation, the bill would have a major negative impact on the economy. The Heritage Foundation is a conservative think tank with a stated mission to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of "free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense." It is widely considered one of the world's most influential public policy research institutes.

Heritage estimates that unemployment and taxes would increase dramatically if the current bill were made into law.

Score another run for the socialist in the political game of "How Can We Destroy America As We Know It?"

The 1,200-plus-page bill now goes to the Senate, where it faces an uncertain future. I wonder how many Republicans will cross the aisle to join Harry Reid in his attempt to bolster the Obama agenda?

We believe that the Constitution of the United States speaks for itself. There is no need to rewrite, change or reinterpret it to suit the fancies of special interest groups or protected classes.