Not So Energized

Carter Wood at NAM’s Shopfloor blog points us toward this Examiner editorial on the House’s depressing new energy legislation, which includes $16 billion in new taxes on oil companies:

[This] $16 billion will inevitably be passed on to drivers at the pump, at the same time oil companies should be investing in new technology to extract hard-to-reach domestic deposits. Specifically tailoring the tax benefit to increase domestic production instead of simply eliminating it would have been a much better idea.

Then there’s the stick, a mandate requiring investor-owned utilities to generate at least 15 percent of their electrical power from renewable sources, which now account for only 3 percent of the nation’s energy. This draconian measure will drive consumers’ electric bills up substantially with little corresponding drop in oil use.

Indeed. FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe signed this recent coalition letter, which also had harsh words for the proposed energy legislation:

At a time when already high energy costs are impairing this country’s economy, why would the House pass legislation that will ultimately increase financial hardships by strangling American energy supply?


It is essential to oppose all legislation that directly interferes with free-market enterprise and the basic fundamentals of a market-driven economy. Command-and-control policies do nothing but increase regulations which halt growth, create artificial markets, and ultimately produce scarcity and higher prices. Any legislative solution must maintain the fundamental principles of America’s free market economy in order to effectively preserve a stable economic system and efficiently provide energy sources for future generations.

Update: As Ron Bailey points out, the bill is just a diversion by Democratic leaders to try to convince the public that they’ve "done something" about global warming. Despite their dire–and often laughably inflated–rhetoric about impending global warming doom, even they have realized that the costs associated with most global warming legislation is far more than the benefits it provides, and, just as importantly for elected leaders, than the public will tolerate. Here’s Bailey:

In fact, Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) who heads up the House Energy and Commerce Committee threatened to propose a carbon tax last month. Dingell’s proposal is an attempt to call the Democratic leaders bluff on energy policy. He hopes that such a tax will fail. As he told C-Span, “I sincerely doubt that the American people will be willing to pay what this is really going to cost them.” The Democrats on Capitol Hill evidently agree with Dingell. So in an attempt to fool the public about their real goal—boosting energy prices—Congressional Democrats cobbled together 786 pages of energy mandates and subsidies.