Last night, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, lead by Chairman Waxman (D-CA), passed its 900-page energy bill, bringing the controversial "cap-and-trade" scheme, also known as "cap and tax", one step closer to reality.
Independent researchers, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, and the President all agree that consumers will shoulder the high cost of this plan, designed to limit carbon emissions. Under "cap and tax", the average American household can expect to see an additional $1,600 to $4,800 per year on their energy bills.
"This is a national energy tax," said Smith. "We've seen how cap and tax' works in Europe. It kills jobs, raises prices on families and small businesses, and leads to more government intrusion in daily life. This misguided proposal will do far more harm than good at a time when Americans can least afford it."
Similar schemes in Europe have done little to curb carbon emissions, while dramatically increasing the cost of energy, including gasoline, electricity, and home cooling and heating. The higher energy prices also lead to higher prices for food and consumer goods, which contribute to inflation.
It's estimated that when U.S. industries absorb the cost of cap and tax', 1,105,000 jobs per year will be eliminated or moved overseas, with peak years seeing unemployment rise by more than 2,479,000 jobs.
The bill creates new federal mandates on everything from outdoor light bulbs and table lamps to water dispensers and hot tubs. The bill increases demand for electricity with plug-in hybrid incentives at the same time it causes consumer electricity costs to spike.
House Republicans are preparing to introduce an alternative energy plan that is also more environmentally friendly than the Democratic plan. Republicans want to increase American energy production, encourage greater efficiency and conservation, and promote the use of clean, alternative fuels. The Democrat 'cap and tax' plan will relocate manufacturing plants overseas to countries with less stringent environmental regulations, while the GOP plan will include nuclear energy, which does not emit carbon.
"I believe that our nation's energy agenda should strengthen our economy, lower consumer prices, reduce our dependency on foreign oil, and protect the environment," said Smith.