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Today, President Obama spoke before the United Nations to address the issue of climate change. In a speech in which he highlighted the United States’ record on energy policy, the president also called on other nations to join him in his “urgent” fight against climate change. Seen by many as a lead-in to this week’s G20 Summit and December’s climate summit in Copenhagen, the speech revived President Obama’s domestic energy initiatives at a time when most of the public debate has been dominated by health care.
The president referred to the Waxman-Markey Act, better known as cap and trade, as the most important step the United States has taken in pursuing clean energy, and he lauded the bill as one that would “finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy for American businesses.” While it is noble that he wants to help American businesses stay profitable, President Obama should better understand the policy prescriptions he chooses to champion. Cap and trade legislation amounts to nothing more than a massive new tax on energy production and consumption. Businesses and consumers alike will be hit hard through higher energy costs. Varying analysis puts the cost of cap and trade legislation at anywhere from $800 to $1,300 a year for the average American household. In addition, it is estimated that as many as 2.3 million jobs could be lost.
FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe commented: “Energy policy has wide spread implications for the entire economy, from transportation to manufacturing and beyond. When the Senate does finally act on cap and trade legislation, as the president says they are planning to do, they should reject this policy that more accurately could be called ‘cap and tax’.”