Issue Position: Cap and Trade

Issue Position

By:  Don Young
Date: Jan. 1, 2015
Location: 

On March 31, Chairman Henry Waxman (D--CA) of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Chairman Edward Markey (D--MA) of the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee introduced draft legislation that would impose a cap and trade system on carbon emissions. In addition to laying out a cap and trade scheme, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES) includes broad mandates for a renewable electricity standard (RES) and subsidies for unproven energy technologies.

With a goal to reduce carbon dioxide by 20 percent below 2005 levels in 2020 and by 83 percent below 2005 levels in 2050, the cap and trade scheme presented in this bill will be nothing short of an economic killer. A carbon mitigation plan as currently proposed would be an exercise in futility at the expense of the American economy and would lead to the ultimate de-industrialization of America.

The simple fact is that curtailing carbon emissions in the U.S., doesn't change the behavior of India and China, who are quickly overtaking America as the world's largest carbon emitters. Regardless of where greenhouse gases originate, they mix in the atmosphere. This legislation, and proposals like this, amount to little more than a tax on the American people, with the intent to needlessly raise the cost of energy to unattainable levels--forcing the American people to turn to unproven an uneconomical renewable energy sources.

I am thankful that we live in a nation so prosperous that we have the luxury of choosing to worry about a "problem" that some of the world's most respected scientists don't think exists. However, before plunging head first into potentially ruinous policies, we ought to be sure, so that we do not needlessly jeopardize our economic standing in the world.

In an article published last year my friend, Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu, the world-renowned climatologist and former director of the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Fairbanks, said, "A truly environmentally friendly policy would invest in innovation -- in order to increase energy efficiency -- and not try to stifle whole economies by attempting to do away with CO2 based on faulty science and wild assumptions."

I agree with Dr. Akosufo, and I look forward to the day when a legitimate debate can occur amongst the scientific community. For these reasons, I believe we must proceed with extreme caution on any global warming legislation. We must not legislate based on uncertain science and media hysteria -- none of which takes into account natural climate change cycles - particularly when doing so could have drastic impacts on our nation's economy.