Saturday, March 26, 2011

Energy Update: Backdoor Cap and Tax is Bad for Ohio and the Nation

As we all know, Cap-and-Trade (AKA "Crap and Tax") was blocked in Congress, but now the Obama Administration is hoping to implement its goals through the regulators at the Environmental Protection Agency, which would be a sucker punch to the economy.  

The EPA is currently trying to set more stringent National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone. These standards are typically reviewed on a five-year cycle, but the EPA is pushing forward with new proposals two years early.
These national standards will have a real impact on Ohio. In fact, a Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI study found that Ohio businesses and residents could be responsible for up to $42.2 billion new costs per year, the negative effects of which would reverberate across many sectors. Additionally, gross state product could decline by $26.8 billion and Ohio could lose 296,952 jobs by 2020.
There is growing bipartisan support in Congress to stop the EPA from killing jobs and stifling our country’s economic recovery. We can only hope that even more policymakers will soon realize that EPA overreach has negative economic consequences, as evidenced by the NAAQS standards.
Here are some fresh stats on just how bad the damage would be nationally:
  • cost up to 1.4 million jobs by 2014 (just what we need!) and 2.5 million by 2030
  • decrease capital investment by as much as 15% by 2014
  • reduce GDP by $500 billion by 2030
  • increase the cost of gasoline and electricity by 50%, and natural gas by 75% over the next 20 years (because these things aren't expensive enough already)
  • reduce worker compensation by $700 per year
... all of which should change what people think of when they hear the word "green."  
Fortunately, our side has a response: Senator McConnell (S. 482, the Energy Tax Hike Prevention Act) is offering amendment to restrict the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. That would demonstrate to Americans that jobs and economic security are a priority – not more bureaucratic, administrative red-tape.

Alternatives to Senator McConnell’s amendment – such as the two-year delay proposed by Senator Rockefeller or the “tailoring” amendment proposed by Senator Baucus – simply fail to provide the regulatory certainty that the American economy needs. McConnell’s amendment does provide that certainty by stopping the EPA from issuing greenhouse gas rules until a future Congress changes the law. It assures that we don’t simply “kick the can” down the road in dealing with EPA overreach.

It is no secret that Demcorats in Washington are doing everything they possibly can to prevent the energy sector from recovering from the recession.  While President Obama encourages drilling for oil in Brazil, he and his willing accomplices in Congress, continue to push for an energy policy that costs American jobs.

We can do better.