Thompson: Cap and Tax will Devastate Small Businesses, Family Farms

April 29, 2009
Press Release

Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, a member of the House Small Business Committee, participated in a hearing this afternoon that focused on the impact of cap-and-trade legislation on small business and family farms. Cap-and-trade is a policy that limits the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere. In the words of Congressman John Dingell, a Democrat from Michigan and Chairman Emeritus of the Energy and Commerce Committee, “Cap-and-trade is a tax and it’s a great big one.”

“Cap-and-trade, or as I call it, cap-and-tax, will devastate small businesses and family farms,” said Thompson. “As Chairman Dingell pointed out last week, this proposal is a great big tax on energy consumption that will increase the cost of just about every processed, manufactured, and transported good we consume or use in our daily life.”

Fossil fuels account for 85 percent of America’s energy consumption – and are also a feedstock in many every day products. Natural gas and petroleum are used in the processing and manufacturing of medicine, plastic, rubber, clothing, steel, composite materials, glass, building materials, fertilizer, chemicals, paint, and just about every other product you can think of – including solar panels and wind mills, which are both used for energy production.

“The fact that small businesses and family farms  are struggling to make ends meet already, this proposal, if enacted, will kill the very segment of the economy best equipped to get this country back on track. And with agriculture being the largest contributor to Pennsylvania’s economy, farmers will not only have to shell out additional dollars for fertilizer, fuel, and electricity, they will also suffer a competitive disadvantage when competing in the global economy.”

Thompson is referring to the fact that many industrialized and developing nations that American businesses compete with, do not have cap-and-tax or carbon restriction policy on their books. So the cost of this legislation, which has been estimated  anywhere from $646 billion to nearly $2 trillion dollars over ten years, will significantly hamper economic growth here at home and force employers to move overseas in order to remain competitive.

“Congress should focus on job creation and preservation – not enacting the radical policies that Speaker Pelosi and her leadership team have proposed with cap-and-tax.”