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Ranking Member Camp Floor Statement: HR 2454 – National Energy Tax

June 26, 2009

As a candidate, the President stated that under his plan “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”  I give him credit – he was being honest with the American people.

Today, the nation’s unemployment level is fast approaching 10 percent.  That means one out of every ten Americans will soon be without a job and without a paycheck to provide for themselves and their families. 

Yet, this national energy tax will drive up prices while making scarce jobs scarcer.  In fact, one utility – which is even supporting this legislation – has already applied to state regulators to raise their electricity rates in anticipation of the costs of complying with this national energy tax.

While the Speaker wants us to pay more in energy taxes, China and India have repeatedly said they will not follow suit – they will not impose those hardships on their people. 

This shouldn’t surprise us.  As our mothers used to as used to ask: if everyone else jumped off a cliff, would you?  Of course not, and neither will China and India.  They recognize enacting these caps is like jumping off an economic cliff.

So, what does a yes vote mean?  It means more American manufacturing jobs move to China and India, fewer Americans have jobs and there is no reduction in global greenhouse gasses.
And, because this bill was rushed to the floor; because the American people were not given a chance to review it; because their representatives were not given a chance to improve it through the committee process, this bill contains numerous flaws.

The border measures, which the Committee on Ways and Means has not reviewed, are an open invitation for our trading partners to retaliate against our goods and against our workers.  How does this help our economy?  How does this help families?  How does this help our environment?  It doesn’t.

Now, I know promises have been made that your constituents won’t be harmed by this bill – that it contains plenty of consumer protections.  What are those protections?  Who is going to get them?  Not the middle class.  Not the people the president promised to protect – families making less than $250,000.

Somewhere in this House, late at night, someone made the decision to eliminate the tax credits designed to help middle class families to pay for these higher energy prices.
Here are the plain simple facts: under the Speaker’s National Energy Tax, a family of four with income over $33,000 per year will lose under this bill.  They and the 235 million other Americans will pay higher costs and receive no help in offsetting those costs. 

Let’s be clear what that means: three out of every four Americans will pay more under this bill.
The Speaker’s National Energy Tax is bad for our economy; bad for families who are already struggling to make ends meet; and, it will do nothing to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.  It is all pain and no gain.

I urge my colleagues to vote no.