NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


June 12, 2009

Independent analyses predict the Waxman-Markey bill will cost millions of domestic jobs as manufacturers relocate plants to countries with less draconian environmental regulations.  Meanwhile, the electricity rates under a cap-and-trade system would "necessarily skyrocket," by some estimates up to $4,300 per household each year.  This is not the way to go, say Congressmen Mike Pence, John Shimkus and Fred Upton, Republicans from Indiana, Illinois and Michigan, respectively.

Instead, House Republicans have unveiled legislation that will lead to lower prices, more jobs, a cleaner environment and greater energy independence: the American Energy Act -- which establishes a national goal of licensing 100 new nuclear reactors over the next 20 years:

  • With 31 announced reactor applications already in the pipeline, this goal can be achieved -- and it will revitalize an entire manufacturing sector, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs.
  • The bill also streamlines a cumbersome regulatory process by offering a two-year, fast-track approval program for power-plant applications that employ safe reactor designs already approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
  • The NRC will also be allowed to finish its review of a national repository without political interference, and the federal government will be prevented from blocking other storage facilities if a state and locality choose to contract with a private company for that purpose.

America also needs to develop more of its own natural resources such as oil and natural gas, and the American Energy Act allows for exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and for environmentally sound leasing of oil and natural gas fields in the outer continental shelf and on federally owned lands with oil shale in the West, say the Congressmen.

Finally, the American Energy Act encourages personal responsibility through conservation.  The bill offers tax incentives for the purchase of energy efficient vehicles and rewards homeowners for making their homes more energy efficient, say the Congressmen.

Source: Mike Pence, John Shimkus and Fred Upton, "The GOP's Energy Alternative," Wall Street Journal, June 11, 2009.

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