Issue Position: Energy

Issue Position

Date: Jan. 1, 2011

The cap and trade plan recently passed by House Democrats is likely to be the largest tax increase in American history. H.R. 2454, written by Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Ed Markey (D-CA), is a massive new tax that will raise energy prices on every American, costing thousands of Texans their jobs, all for a questionable environmental impact.

Recent analysis by The Heritage Foundation shows that the Waxman-Markey "cap and tax bill" will cost American families more than $3,000 per year in the form of higher energy prices. Seniors and low-income families who spend a large portion of their budgets on energy bills will bear the brunt of the new tax. The cost to Texas alone could reach $20 billion in added electricity costs, which is an average yearly increase of more than $600 per household in utility bills, according to a study commissioned by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. While our economy is straining to recover from a severe recession, the worst thing we can do is raise taxes on American consumers and businesses.

The bill will raise prices and stifle domestic energy production while barely lowering global temperatures. Supporters of the bill claim it is intended to address climate change, but the Obama Administration's own Environmental Protection Agency analysis shows that if the U.S. implemented a 60 percent reduction in CO2 emission, the global temperature would only be reduced by 0.1- 0.2 degrees Celsius by 2095.

I believe there is a better way to conserve energy while conserving our tax dollars, which is why I am a co-sponsor of H.R. 2828, the American Energy Innovation Act. This fiscally responsible approach encourages innovation by investing in renewable energy technology, promotes conservation by providing incentives for reducing energy demand, and increases production of American energy by utilizing available resources and streamlining burdensome regulations. These steps will make America energy self-sufficient and improve our environment in the process.

I have supported the following legislation in the 111th Congress:

* H.R. 2828, the American Energy and Innovation Act. This comprehensive bill encourages innovation within the energy market to create the renewable fuel options and energy careers; promotes greater conservation and efficiency by providing incentives for easing energy demand and creating a cleaner, more sustainable environment; and increases the production of American energy by responsibly utilizing all available resources and technologies and streamlining burdensome regulations.

* H.R. 2846, the American Energy Act. This comprehensive bill encourages new and expanding energy technologies by making permanent tax credits for the production of renewable electricity; increases the supply of American energy by allowing production from on- and off-shore areas; provides tax incentives for businesses and homeowners who improve their energy efficiency; and speeds up production by refining the permitting process and expediting judicial review.