When Will Congress Come Clean on Cap and Tax?

Only 24 percent of Americans understand cap and tax; Waxman needs to slow down and explain it to the American people

Washington, DC – Recent polling conducted by Rasmussen Reportsand released today found that an overwhelming majority of Americans notonly don’t support cap-and-trade – they don’t even know what it is,even when given three options from which to choose.

Interestingly,the polling data comes out at a time when Energy and Commerce ChairmanHenry Waxman (D-Calif.) is moving at breakneck speed to pass acap-and-tax plan out of his committee, announcing today that he expectsthe markup to begin on Thursday.

“Thispoll furthers underscores the point that, not only don’t Americans knowwhat cap-and-trade will cost, they don’t even know what cap-and-tradeis,” said Thomas J. Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance(AEA). “Congress should do the responsible thing and halt considerationof this measure until the public has had an opportunity to weigh in onthis job-killing energy tax. Ramming through legislation under anartificial deadline – legislation that an overwhelming majority ofAmericans know little about – would be irresponsible at best and aneconomic disaster for all Americans.”

Atits core, cap and trade represents a deliberate effort by some inCongress to increase the cost of efficient forms of energy that now account for 85 percent of U.S.consumption. According to some estimates, the measure currently beforethe House Energy and Commerce Committee will cost each family anadditional $3100 annually and put American jobs at risk due to the competitive disadvantage thathigher energy costs will bring to many domestic manufacturers.

“To the 76 percentof Americans that have no understanding of what cap and trade is: it isa tax,” added Pyle. “In the words of John Dingell, dean of the House ofRepresentatives, ‘cap and trade is a tax and a great big one,’”continued Pyle. “No matter how you frame the debate, or which Membersreceive favorable treatment from the Chairman, cap and trade willseverely hamper economic growth and will in no-way-shape-or-form bebeneficial to individuals or businesses.”

Note: according to a Pew Research Center Report released on January 22, 2009, Global Warming ranked dead last among respondents when asked what their top policy priority is for 2009.

More from AEA on the Waxman-Markey Energy Tax:

Web Alert: Contact your Representative and tell them to reject the Waxman-Markey Energy Tax

Release: Who Wins, Who Loses? Everything Up for Grabs as Waxman Scours for Votes

Cap and Trade Primer: Eight reasons why cap and trade harms the economy and reduces jobs

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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