I am a strong supporter of environmental stewardship, but the benefits of the Democrat's Cap and Trade plan are too low and the costs to Americans too high.
Cap and trade is one way to attempt to manage pollution - most notably carbon dioxide. In its current form the Democrats want to force companies who emit pollution to buy permits to release more pollution than what they are allotted. Those who emit less can sell their unused allotment to others who emit more. Cap-and-trade has been tried in Europe, and has had no effect whatsoever on CO2 emissions, but it has had a harmful effect on the economy.
What most people don't realize is that consumers would pick up the tab for the cost of their bill. It's been estimated that the current cap and trade proposal will raise a single household's energy bill by 77 to 129 percent. That means if you're energy bill is $160 a month, under this bill, it could soar to $390 per month. It will increase gas prices, food prices, consumer product prices, and the cost of government.
Even President Obama admitted "electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket" under his cap-and-trade program (January 2008). Anyone using a car, public transportation, electricity or any product that involves creating CO2 would face higher prices. Under this plan families can expect to pay an additional $3,000 in energy costs per year.
While costs are high, the actual benefit would be one one-hundredth of a degree in global warming. Again, the benefits of the Democrat's cap and trade plan are too low and the costs to Americans too high.
We need meaningful solutions, which is why I am a co-sponsor of the "Defending America's Affordable Energy and Jobs Act" which prevents Washington bureaucrats from implementing the federal Cap and Trade plan. This bill removes dozens of current EPA regulations which unnecessarily drive up energy costs and inhibit job creation. This bill also prevents state legislatures from taxing greenhouse gas emissions. Removing these regulatory burdens is necessary to allow businesses to flourish and develop alternative means of energy production.
Renewable and clean energy sources like nuclear, wind, solar, and lithium-ion car batteries for electric hybrids will provide the base of our energy supply in the future. New, clean technology is doubling car battery capacity every two years for hybrid vehicles. Improvements in vehicular fuel efficiency have also helped, benefiting the environment and lessening our reliance on oil. In the interim, however, it is vital that we tap into our natural resources. A now restricted Alaskan site has an estimated 10.6 billion barrels of oil, and the oil shale reserves in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming hold nearly 1.8 trillion barrels of crude oil, but are closed to exploration.
It is essential that we utilize our nation's vast energy supplies. At the same time, we should continue to develop new, clean technology. This would significantly reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Doing so sooner rather than later is both an economic necessity and vital to our national security.