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A cap and trade bill being introduced today by Senators John Kerry (D, Mass.) and Barbara Boxer (D, Calif.) threatens to devastate the U.S. economy and yet have no tangible environmental benefit.
The wrong-headed policy contained in this legislation would place draconian restrictions on carbon emissions. In fact, the carbon reduction targets set in the Kerry-Boxer bill are even stricter than those included in the cap and trade bill recently passed by the House, H.R. 2454 (commonly referred to as Waxman-Markey). This means that previous estimates of the potentially devastating consequences of cap and trade legislation to include over 2.3 million jobs lost, $4 a gallon gas, and increased annual energy costs of $1,300 per American household, could be on the low end.
To make matters worse, the legislation fails in its stated purpose of helping improve the environment. The best estimates of any cap and trade regime show that the resultant change in temperature would be no more than 0.07 degrees Celsius – barely enough to measure.
FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe commented, “Senators Kerry and Boxer have found a way to make a bad idea worse with the introduction of their cap and trade bill. The cap and trade bill passed by the House already threatens to enact a new energy tax, cost millions of Americans’ their jobs, and drive gas prices back up above $4 per gallon. With its call for even greater reductions on carbon emissions, the Kerry-Boxer bill exacerbates these already gloomy estimates and raises the threat level that cap and trade poses to the U.S. economy.”
It is also disconcerting that the Senate is rushing forward with a bill despite the fact that important portions of the bill have yet to be written. “To move forward with a cap and trade bill without including details about how the cap and trade program will be established short-changes the American people by making it impossible to have an honest public debate about the proposed legislation,” said Kibbe. “Any bill that aims to restructure the entire energy sector of the U.S. economy—over 8 percent of the nation’s GDP—deserves a thorough public debate.”