Action Needed Today to Stop Passage of “Cap and Tax” Energy Bill

by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Writer 

At some time today, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on an energy-rationing bill that will result in taxing the use of all products whose manufacture emits carbon, such as electricity, gasoline and heating oil.

Known as the “cap and trade” bill, the 946-page American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (HR 2454), sponsored by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA), will impose a system of “cap and tax” in order to combat alleged global warming.

However, in reality, it is an across-the-board household energy tax in disguise that will result in giving the government the power to put a cap on the amount of carbon emissions produced by the production of energy sources such as electricity, gasoline and heating oil. It will also force businesses to buy permits for the emissions they are allowed.

According to the Eagle Forum, founded by attorney Phyllis Schlafly, this bill will have enormous economic consequences on the American way of life, such as:

• It will raise household electricity rates by 90 percent, gasoline by 74 percent, and residential natural gas prices by 55 percent by 2035, after adjusting for inflation.

• It imposes an annual burden of $144.8 billion per year on U.S. households, and it will reduce household earnings by a projected $37.8 billion.

• It will further cut U.S. employment levels by 965,000 jobs by reducing economic output by $136 billion per year-this translates to a $1,145 increase in energy costs per American household.

• It will force low-income households to disproportionately bear the across-the-board energy cost increase, as a larger percentage of the poor’s income goes toward energy costs, as opposed to wealthier households.

• It sets the stage to effectively kill the coal industry as it will be taxed so heavily, it will not be able to sustain itself.

“Not only would this be the biggest tax increase in the history of the world, but it is yet another example of President Barack Obama violating his campaign promise not to raise taxes on the middle class,” writes Schlafly. “This cap-and-tax bill is simply an underhanded way of facilitating a colossal transfer of wealth from consumers to big businesses.”

The bill is already enormously unpopular on the Hill with opposition coming from both sides of the aisle; however, it is believed to have just enough support to pass. 

To find your representative by zipcode, visit or call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

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