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Putting an economy-wide cap on America’s greenhouse gas emissions continues to be projected as a costly initiative. A policy brief recently released by Harvard's Energy Technology Innovation and Research Group concluded that reducing oil imports and greenhouse gas emission levels in the U.S. would be, “Harder than it looks.” More specifically, the study bluntly stated:
Reducing oil consumption and carbon emissions from transportation is a much greater challenge than conventional wisdom assumes. It will require substantially higher fuel prices, ideally in combination with more stringent regulation.
Regarding prices at the pump, the new study concluded that a legitimate decrease in transportation emissions by 2020,
…may require gas prices greater than $7/gallon by 2020.
These significant increases in gas prices and regulation would need to be accompanied by tax credits in order to subsidize electric or hybrid vehicles. However, in order for these subsidies to exist, increases in government revenues would be required. Translated, this would mean more tax hikes for American consumers. Regarding this subsidy schema, the study notes:
…it is extremely expensive and an ineffective way to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the near term.
Creating yet another tax (an energy tax), and increasing regulations to ensure a decrease in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, is a fusion of what the majority of Democrats in Congress want, and what the EPA is pursuing. While Congress is in the midst of crafting a cap and tax related bill, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking to exercise a backdoor power grab that would place an annual threshold on the amount of greenhouse gases that businesses and vehicles can emit. Both initiatives would financially burden American taxpayers. Given the state of our recession stricken economy, does it really make sense to further increase spending levels, and further increase taxes, especially when the impact on global temperatures is negligible at best?
The proposed Murkowski Resolution, if passed, would foil the EPA’s aggressive regulatory agenda. This resolution, or one of the other proposals is a critical step to shutting down the EPA’s backdoor power grab.