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OP-ED: Bill Posey, pro-con: Let's call cap and trade what it really is, a massive energy tax on every U.S. citizen
Published in the Vero Beach Press Journal

Washington, June 25, 2009 - Congress is considering legislation that has the potential to raise your energy bills significantly, along with the price of just about everything you buy.

Estimates on how much the 900-page Waxman-Markey Cap and Trade National Energy Tax legislation could cost vary, but estimates range between $750 and $3,100 per family per year. Washington typically low balls the cost of things, thinking they can get them into law before Americans know the true cost. This bill includes budget gimmicks hiding the full cost.

The plan is for the federal government to limit carbon emissions. The government will auction carbon emission permits to energy producers, refineries and factories (usually through speculators) so they can emit more carbon. Many credits are also given away to special-interest groups. The cost will then be passed onto consumers. The president’s budget included $646 billion in “cap and trade” revenue.

The idea is to purposely increase the cost of energy from fossil fuels like natural gas, coal or petroleum, about 85 percent of electricity produced. The price of everything you buy will go up, even food, because there will be a hidden national energy tax built into the price of everything.

One leading Democrat senator told the Washington Post: “This is the greatest revenue generating (tax) proposal of our time.” In other words, it’s all about taking more money away from everyday Americans so politicians can spend your money on politician’s favorite programs.

Estimates are this bill will have a negligible effect on the global environment. Carbon emissions from U.S. competitors in China, India and the rest of the developing world are exempt from these caps and they will continue to increase. China is already the world’s largest carbon emitter.

This costly national energy tax will put U.S. products at a competitive disadvantage and further erode our ability to compete with the rest the world. The result will be the loss of millions of jobs as we will see more jobs move to countries that will not impose these caps. It’s no wonder China has essentially endorsed this legislation. With a U.S. unemployment rate of 9.4 percent, it’s estimated that this tax will cost Americans 2.5 million more jobs.

I’m opposed to this plan and am working to bring a little common sense to the discussion. I will vote against this tax because it is not good for the U.S. worker, small businesses, seniors living on fixed incomes, and parents struggling to raise a family. Washington doesn’t need any more of your money; it needs to control spending. Europe adopted a similar plan several years ago and it forced jobs to leave Europe and caused electricity prices to skyrocket. It’s all pain and no gain.

Posey, R-Rockledge, represents the northern Treasure Coast and elsewhere in the U.S. House.

Published June 25, 2009 in the Vero Beach Press Journal

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