Cantor On "Cap-And-Tax's" Impact On Coal Country
House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) today made the following remarks at a press conference with several coal-state House Republicans to discuss the "cap-and-trade" bill's impact upon coal country:
"This week is obviously very focused, not only on the spending process her, but really on what will turn out to be, if passed and enacted into law, the largest tax increase in the country's history. The cap and trade' bill will impose a national energy tax. And I think that coming at this point especially demonstrates that this bill is disconnected to the reality facing so many of America's families and certainly families in the regions where coal is a big part of the economy. It is about jobs, it is about the economy, it is about families' financial security right now where Congress should be focused. This bill goes in the wrong direction.
"And there's a lot of discussion right now about what the impact of cost is on families due to this bill. Initially, we had heard from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that it was over $1,600 per family of four. There are studies out there from MIT, one that says over $3,000 impact when you see the increased cost of electricity. There's a recent CBO score that is out that is 1/10th of the score that CBO had two weeks ago. Again, I think that calls into question the validity of this particular study because clearly this is a job killer. When you impose costs the way that this bill has on these states, as Shelley points out, there will be a tremendous impact on family wealth, a tremendous impact on the ability to get a job.
"So what we're hearing is that the proponents of this legislation, Speaker Pelosi and Mr. Waxman, have maybe 190 votes, and that falls way short of the necessary 218. And I believe that is the case, if those numbers are correct, because the American people are growing very weary. They're growing very weary of the cost and consequences of the Democratic agenda in the House. It is about jobs. It is not about pursuing some type of extreme agenda. That's why I'm glad that Shelley is here, and others, who know the impact that will occur in the regions of this country that are so reliant on fossil fuels. And at the end of the day, if we're going to do something positive to reduce carbon emissions, we have got to ensure that the alternative sources, we've got to make sure that not only they, but coal as well, becomes less expensive to use, not more expensive. And that's exactly what this bill does, makes it more expensive, and less competitive and will shut down an industry."