Cap ‘n Trade is back with a vengeance — but under a new name. It’s now called the…[wait!]…oh so patriotic-sounding American Power Act.
Those politicians in Congress must think we’re stupid. We’re not fooled by a name change. A pile of manure stinks just as foul even you call it a bouquet of roses.
H/t Ron and May!
The bill, which runs 987 pages and is entitled the “American Power Act,” includes a new gasoline tax on American motorists and a controversial cap and trade system for electric utilities. The goal of the legislation is to reduce global warming emissions 17% below 2005 levels by 2020, and more than 80% by 2050.
In the lead up to today’s release, Senator Kerry repeatedly denied that the bill would include a new gas tax. But the bill establishes a new carbon fee that oil companies, referred to as “refined product providers,” must pay to the federal government for the right to emit carbon dioxide. The fee, which is linked to the price that electric utilities will pay for emissions under a separate cap and trade program, will ultimately increase the price of gasoline.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who helped craft the new gas tax, admitted that the fee “will be passed on” to consumers in the form of higher prices at the pump.
President Obama immediately endorsed the legislation, saying APA “will put America on the path to a clean energy economy” and create new green jobs. But in March the Obama administration said it did not support increasing gasoline taxes, a point echoed last month when the White House issued a firm statement that it does not support a new gas tax.
How large the new gas tax will be is uncertain, although earlier this year Harvard’s Belfer Center determined that President Obama’s ideal energy policy could translate to $7 per gallon gasoline.
According to an American Solutions poll, 71% of Americans oppose a new gas tax, and more than 60% of Independents would be less likely to vote for a candidate who supports such a tax.
In addition to the new gasoline tax, Americans will see higher electricity prices under APA due to a cap and trade program for utilities. On the campaign trail, President Obama famously said that electricity prices would “necessarily skyrocket” under cap and trade, and the Heritage Foundation determined that cap and trade would raise the average American family’s energy costs by more than $800 per year.
Last week the Congressional Budget Office released its own analysis of cap and trade, based upon several professional reports, and determined it would decrease employment and reduce America’s economic productivity.
Even more troubling is that the environmental benefits of the legislation are minimal at best. According to a new analysis, Kerry-Lieberman would reduce global temperatures by only 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said yesterday that he wants to move the Kerry-Lieberman bill after the Memorial Day recess. Such timing may prove difficult, as Senators will have to try to impose a new gasoline tax on motorists entering the year’s busiest driving season.