Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA) today signed a pledge that he would oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue. The pledge, sponsored jointly by Americans For Prosperity, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, National Taxpayers Union, and Institute for Liberty, has been signed by 600 bipartisan lawmakers and candidates on the federal state and local level.
"Using the guise of climate change to transfer dollars from hard-working citizens to bureaucratic big government is unacceptable," said Americans for Prosperity's Georgia State Director Virginia Galloway. "Regardless of their stance on global warming, this should be common ground for all of our elected officials at all levels of government. We encourage all of Georgia's elected officials to sign the pledge."
Cap-and-trade took its first step toward enactment last year when the U.S. House narrowly passed the Waxman-Markey energy tax bill, which escaped the lower chamber by a scant seven votes despite significant bipartisan opposition. The Senate has struggled to pass companion legislation, with several key Democratic senators expressing opposition to passing the energy tax bill.
President Obama has made no secret of his support for the bill, which would be the largest tax increase in American history. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has scored the House plan as an $846 billion increase in federal revenue, a burden that will be borne by taxpayers and consumers for decades to come.
In recent weeks, some have used the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to renew the push for this controversial legislation. For his part, Kingston believes such a tactic represents an attempt to exploit an environmental disaster.
"Trying to use the Gulf oil spill to push a national energy tax is a blatant attempt to exploit a tragedy," Kingston said. "Livelihoods of thousands of coastal residents are under siege but Washington politicians are trying to use this disaster to push their own partisan politics. We should be united first to stopping this leak and remediating its impact. We have a moral duty to be good stewards of the environment but growing the government's coffers and killing jobs based on questionable science is a bridge too far."
In Congress, Kingston has been a leader on alternative energy and reducing the nation's dependence on foreign oil. Through increased efficiency, expedited development of technology, and reducing the barriers to American-made energy, Kingston authored legislation that would have allowed Americans to choose energy independence by 2015.
At the time, Kingston's bill gained the support of three senior Administration officials who were in the Senate: President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.