NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


June 18, 2009

If the pending Waxman-Markey energy and climate bill (HR 2454) becomes law, utility bills will soar. Farm and business energy costs will skyrocket -- and be passed on to consumers, or defrayed by layoffs. Everything Americans grow, make, buy and do will be far pricier.  And bureaucrats will control our lives, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).

Written largely by professional environmentalists, the complex 942-page bill would require an 83 percent reduction in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 -- a level last seen in 1908.  That's before accounting for the far lower population levels and nigh-antediluvian manufacturing, transportation and electrification systems of a century ago. Its costly provisions would dictate every aspect of our lives, says IBD.

For example:

  • Compared to the no cap-and-trade regime, Waxman-Markey would cost the United States a cumulative $9.6 trillion in real gross domestic product (GDP) losses by 2035, according to the Heritage Foundation.
  • The bill would also cause an additional 1.1 million job losses each year, raise electricity rates 90 percent after adjusting for inflation, provoke a 74 percent hike in inflation-adjusted gasoline prices and add $1,500 to the average family's annual energy bill.
  • The Congressional Budget Office says the poorest one-fifth of families could see annual energy costs rise $700 -- while high-income families could see costs rise $2,200; the average person could pay an extra $1,500 per year for energy; and those are just direct energy costs.

When the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to approve Waxman-Markey, they also defeated amendments that would have suspended its punitive provisions if electricity prices go up 10 percent after inflation, unemployment reaches 15 percent or gasoline prices hit five dollars.

Thus, the bill radically "transforms" energy and economic systems, taxes and hobbles hydrocarbon use, mandates and subsidizes "green" energy and doles out innumerable preferences -- and penalties, says IBD.

Source: Paul Driessen, "The Immorality of Waxman-Markey: Intense Pain, No Environmental Gain," Investor's Business Daily, June 16, 2009.

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