House of Wax: As Congress Kicks Off Week-Long Parade on Cap-and-Trade, AEA Poses Top 10 Questions

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 Laura Henderson (202) 621-2951

House of Wax: As Congress Kicks Off Week-Long Parade on Cap-and-Trade, AEA Poses Top 10 Questions Committee Needs to Answer

Washington, D.C – American Energy Alliance (AEA) president Thomas J. Pyle issued the following statement today as Congress kicked off a week in which four straight days will be devoted to congressional hearings on cap-and-trade:

“Over the next several days, more than 70 witnesses will appear before energy committees and subcommittees of Congress — most there to argue that government efforts to significantly and permanently increase the cost of energy will help create new jobs, reduce imports, and save the planet along the way. None of these witnesses will be among the 13.2 million Americans currently out of work and struggling to make ends meet. And very few will be representing the needs of the millions of American families for whom access to affordable and reliable energy isn’t a part of life that can simply be capped and traded away.

“For these Americans, and millions like them, a number of critical questions must be asked and answered this week: How much will cap-and-trade cost? What should we expect in return? If the answer is fewer emissions and a cooler climate, it’s reasonable to ask what our average temperature might be in 2050 if Congress passes cap-and-trade in 2009. And it’s irresponsible to avoid asking what the state of our economy will be in 2050 as a result.”

Additional questions that should be asked of lawmakers on Capitol Hill this week:

1) Do you think your constituents pay too much or too little for energy?  If you think they pay too much now, what can you tell them about the costs the administration says will be forced upon them by this legislation?

2) Eighty percent of state energy regulators recently polled by the Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions believe that cap-and-trade will result in higher electricity costs for consumers. Do you agree?

3) Have you asked the Congressional Research Service (CRS) for a report on the cost of this legislation to your constituents, including on employment in your district?

4) Will you commit to not voting for this legislation until you are fully aware of the costs it would impose upon your constituents, as determined by CRS, GAO, CBO or any of the other research organizations with which taxpayers have provided Congress for just these purposes?

5) Have you personally decided to support the aims of this legislation by making the choice to purchase more expensive alternative energy for your own family?

6) Will you consider sending out a newsletter to your constituents aimed at better informing them of all the cost increases they could reasonably expect if this legislation were to become law?

7) If cap-and-trade is considered by its advocates to be a “market-driven” approach to addressing climate change, how does one reconcile the need for government-enforced caps and penalties on the emission of carbon?

8) Has the European experience on cap-and-trade – characterized by higher energy prices, job flight overseas, and outright graft – informed your thinking on how the mechanics of a similar system might work in the United States?

9) Have you had a chance to read the new study from Spain detailing how that nation’s “Green Jobs” program resulted in fewer real jobs, and billions in lost and diverted public investment?

10) Chairman Waxman: Beyond the film industry, what other industrial or manufacturing activities in California’s 30th Congressional District stand to be impacted by your cap-and-trade plan? What percentage of your constituency earns less than $30,000 a year, and thus stands to be hit the hardest by artificial, government-imposed restrictions on affordable energy?

The American Energy Alliance (AEA) is a not-for-profit organization that engages in public policy advocacy and debate surrounding the function, operation, and government regulation of global energy markets.  AEA, an independent affiliate of the Institute for Energy Research, works to educate and mobilize citizens around the idea that freely-functioning energy markets provide the most efficient and effective solutions to today’s global energy and environmental challenges.


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