Congressman Marsha Blackburn (TN-7) voted against the Democrat sponsored Cap and Tax scheme in the Energy and Commerce Committee today. The thinly disguised tax bill is touted by supporters as an energy bill. Congressman Blackburn's vote was based on concerns that in a tight economy the Cap and Tax scheme would make energy scarce, expensive, and highly taxed. Citing President Obama's own campaign promise that Cap and Tax schemes would cause electricity rates to "necessarily skyrocket" Blackburn noted that the bill could cause Tennessean's rates to climb by as much as 42% by some estimates.
During committee consideration of the bill, Members offered a number of amendments that would have mitigated the Cap and Tax impact on the economy. These included clauses to end the program should gasoline prices reach $5.00 a gallon or unemployment climb to 15%. These amendments were defeated on party line votes. Congressman Blackburn offered two amendments in Committee. The first would have required utility companies to itemize the additional cost of the program on customers bills . The second would have removed the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to regulate carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act . Both failed on largely party line votes.
"This isn't an energy bill, it is a tax bill plain and simple," Congressman Blackburn said. "It siphons thousands of dollars out of the family budget to fund $642 billion in new energy taxes. Instead of making energy more abundant and affordable, it will make it scarce and more expensive. Despite my colleagues promise of economic expansion through 'green jobs' this bill exports far more existing jobs than could realistically be replaced through non-existent technology. Millions of jobs will be lost. For all the money spent and jobs lost, we won't have a more secure environment or more abundant energy. At most, global temperatures are expected to drop a fraction of a degree over the next 90 years. This bill just isn't worth the taxes it will raise or the jobs it will cost."