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OPINION on Enegy Bill
Tuesday, 23 June 2009

June 23--  House Republican Leader John Boehner has sent this memo to Republican Congressman regarding the upcoming debate on the Democrat proposal regarding U.S. energy policy.

House debate is scheduled to begin as early as this Friday on Speaker Pelosi's national energy tax -- a "cap-and-trade" scheme that will destroy American jobs, raise prices for gasoline, electricity, and other sources of energy, and devastate middle-class families and small businesses. This will be one of the defining debates of the 2010 election cycle.

In survey after survey, Americans are naming the economy and jobs as their top concern. And for good reason: we're hemorrhaging jobs at a staggering rate, with 1.6 million jobs lost since the trillion-dollar "stimulus" spending bill passed. It begs the question: where are the jobs?

Democrats don't have any answers. That's why they are squarely on defense in this debate. Desperate to get a winning message even if they have to steal it, pollsters are advising House Democrats to stop using the term "cap-and-trade" and adopt the House Republican "all of the above" message. But their spin won't change the facts. Americans know that this bill would have a disastrous impact on our economy and our constituents.

The American people agree with Republicans, and we're winning this debate because the facts are on our side. But we can't let up. With the unemployment rate soaring past nine percent, Democratic policies like a national energy tax will only make things worse by:

  • Crippling small businesses. Small businesses will face energy costs that "necessarily skyrocket," in the words of then-Senator Obama, and will have less money to invest and create new jobs – if they can even afford keep their doors open, that is.
  • Shipping millions of high-paying jobs overseas to China and India. Energy-intensive industries like American manufacturing will no longer be able to compete with foreign companies whose products aren't subject to the same reckless taxes.
  • Increasing costs for every American. CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf told Congress that "consumers would ultimately bear most of the costs of emission reductions." Gasoline, home heating, food, clothing – flipping on a light switch! – will all cost more. Even OMB Director Peter Orszag admitted that "cap-and-trade" would increase energy prices on all Americans.
  • Fueling more government spending. Democrats will use this massive tax hike for more of the same wasteful Washington spending that's burying our children and grandchildren in debt.

A recent report shows that a national energy tax will destroy nine jobs for every four new "green jobs" touted by Democrats. No matter how they spin it, this isn't a jobs bill – it is a jobs-killing bill. And Democrats who vote for it do so at their own peril.

Republicans have a better solution. The American Energy Act is a common-sense "all of the above" plan that would create new American jobs, lower energy costs, and promote a cleaner and healthier environment.

Our bill will boost American energy production across the board while investing in the fuels of tomorrow. Rather than strangle families and small businesses with an onerous tax, our plan will lower their costs and reduce their dependence on foreign energy while unleashing the power of American entrepreneurs to find new, clean ways to power America in the 21st century.

Speaker Pelosi may yet choose to jeopardize the entire economy in order to satisfy her political allies on the extreme Left. But the American people will remember this debate and will remember who stands up for them.


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