- Bill is an Economic Declaration of War


Date: May 31, 2009
Issues: Taxes Energy - Bill is an Economic Declaration of War

Bill is an economic declaration of war
By Mike Pence

After weeks of political horse-trading over the hot issue of climate-change legislation, a "compromise" is now making its way through the U.S. Congress. All the window dressing that this so-called compromise has prompted does not change the fact that it amounts to an economic declaration of war on the heartland of America, and it must be opposed.

Hoosiers should be wary. If Washington's national energy tax becomes law, it will have a devastating impact on the price at the pump and utility bills across the nation, and in the state of Indiana especially.

For weeks, various members of Congress asked senior Democrats, such as House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., for substantial changes to their proposed cap-and-tax legislation. These members represent states that rely on carbon-based energy to heat homes and power businesses; the plan being considered dramatically restricts its use.

The result would be significantly higher utility bills and a mass relocation of jobs overseas. Indiana generates roughly 94 percent of its electricity from coal. A recent study by the Heritage Foundation found that Indiana would be the hardest hit among all 50 states. As Gov. Mitch Daniels testified at an Indianapolis energy summit I hosted Wednesday, Hoosiers would be dealt "enormous hardship" by this energy plan.

Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., former chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, said it best when he recently proclaimed, "Nobody in this country realizes that cap and trade is a tax, and it's a great big one." But you don't have to take just Dingell's word for it; President Barack Obama himself declared during the campaign that under his energy plan, energy "prices would necessarily skyrocket." In fact, the average American household will pay an estimated $3,100 a year in extra energy costs.

To soften the blow, a number of changes were recommended to this misguided bill. For example, when it comes to the required reduction in the level of CO2 emissions, the original draft proposed a 20-percent reduction below 2005 levels. A counter offer asked for a 6 percent reduction. But where did this grand compromise arrive at for a solution? Seventeen percent, despite the fact that many of the technologies needed to reach this target are new and untested, making the emission reduction targets nearly impossible.