NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


June 24, 2009

Perhaps the most destructive legislation in our country's history will, as soon as this week, be voted on in the House of Representatives: the Waxman-Markey tax bill in the guise of addressing climate change.  It will have adverse and lingering consequences for every American, says Investors Business Daily (IBD).

For example:

  • It will raise the cost of electricity in our homes, the fuel for our cars and the energy that produces our manufacturing jobs, with little or no environmental benefit.
  • Independent experts estimate that it will cost Americans more than $2 trillion in just over eight years.
  • All Americans in the Midwest, South and Rocky Mountain regions will be most drastically affected because the climate change legislation will destroy the nation's coal industry and the low-cost electricity it has provided to these regions for generations.
  • Wealth will be transferred away from almost every state to the West Coast and New England.

The most abundant and by far least expensive energy source in our country for generating electricity is coal.  America's coal reserves rival the energy potential of Saudi Arabian oil.  Unfortunately, the proposed climate-change legislation in the House of Representatives, the Waxman-Markey bill, forces America to throw away this tremendous resource, and our low-cost electricity with it, says IBD.  For instance, the legislation discards coal by setting an unattainable cap on carbon dioxide emissions by 2020, with the first reductions due by 2012.

  • Under the program, businesses that emit carbon dioxide would be required to purchase or obtain from the government special carbon dioxide credits.
  • This carbon dioxide cap will force utilities to switch from lower-cost coal to natural gas or other more expensive energy sources.
  • Reliable estimates show that this bill will cost each American family at least $3,000 more in energy costs each year, notwithstanding the $2 trillion cost to the economy in just eight years.

Source: Robert E. Murray, "Not Too Late To Kill 'Cap-And-Tax' Bill," Investor's Business Daily, June 24, 2009.

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