Does Congressman Kirk Support Higher Electricity Rates?

Illinois electricity rates to sky rocket under plan pending before Congress

Washington, DC – With only days remaining until the U.S. House of Representatives casts an historic up-or-down vote on one of the largest tax hikes in the history of Congress, Congressman Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) has yet to state publicly where he stands on this measure – even as recent estimates suggest Illinois families could be among the hardest hit by it.

Under this proposal, the federal government would mandate the increased use of expensive, unreliable forms of power, which currently represent a mere 2.8 percent of the nation’s overall electricity usage. In total, less efficient renewable electricity accounts for 1.4 percent of Illinois’s power, which would have to increase by 971 percent by 2020 to reach this 15 percent mandate.

“Though the Washington politics on cap-and-trade may be complicated,the local consequences of this policy could not be morestraight-forward,” said Thomas J. Pyle, president of the AmericanEnergy Alliance. “For it to work, and work properly, Americans’ energybills must go up – hard, fast and forever. That means Congressman Kirkhas a clear choice to make: side with hard-working Illinoisans, andsmall businesses and reject this proposal, or supportout-of-the-mainstream, Washington special-interests.

“President Obama has said this legislation will ‘necessarily increase the cost of electricity.’By all accounts, increasing electricity costs in Pennsylvania, whilesmall towns and working-class families continue to suffer, willdevastate family budgets and force businesses to shut their doors.”

Currently, 34 states, including Illinois enforce so-called“renewable portfolio standards” – Washington-speak forgovernment-enforced mandates favoring the delivery of less-affordable,less-reliable electricity. On average, residential electricity ratesare 38 percent higher and industrial rates are 50 percent higher inthese states, compared to mandate-free states.

“Illinoisans deserve to know where Congressman Kirk stands on thiscritical issue,” continued Pyle. “Unfortunately, instead of focusing onexpanding American energy production, our lawmakers are intent onimposing the largest energy tax in history – yet another in a series ofheavy-handed policies that dictate, rather than let the marketdetermine, the types of energy we need for our homes and businesses.”

The American Energy and Security Act of 2009, which includesboth a cap-and-trade regime and renewable electricity mandate, does notproduce a single unit of energy and further weakens our nation’soverall energy security. The U.S. House is scheduled to vote on thelegislation the week of June 22.
Note: numbers are rounded to the nearest tenth of a percent.

More on Renewable Electricity Mandates:

· Fact Sheet: Renewable Electricity Mandates, Pay More for Less

· Interactive map: How much of your electricity is generated from politically correct sources?

The American Energy Alliance (AEA) is a not-for-profitorganization that engages in public policy advocacy and debatesurrounding the function, operation, and government regulation ofglobal energy markets. AEA, an affiliate of the Institute for EnergyResearch, works to educate and mobilize citizens around the idea thatfreely-functioning energy markets provide the most efficient andeffective solutions to today’s global energy and environmentalchallenges.


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