Thompson Stresses Negative Consequences of Cap and Tax

May 27, 2009

DuBois—U.S. Representative Glenn `GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, said the legislation in Congress to create a cap and trade system will devastate our already strained economy, especially in Rural Pennsylvania.

Thompson told the press gathered in DuBois, “I believe there is not much public outrage over the proposal because most don’t understand how it will work and what the real consequences will be,” 
 
The basic system would put a cap on how much carbon dioxide companies could emit and will mandatorily reduce that level over time.  If a company were to go over that cap level, then they would be required to purchase carbon offsets or pay a tax. The obvious intention of enacting this is to make traditional energy sources—coal, oil and natural gas—so expensive that people will be forced to use less of them because they can’t afford to use them.

Thompson said, “In the 5th District we have to drive everywhere we go and many of my constituents cannot afford to drive hybrid cars.  We have to heat our homes with fossil fuels during the long winter months.  This legislation, if enacted, would force our electric bills to skyrocket.”

The Congressman then read from a letter he received from the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission:

 “Pennsylvania is the 4th largest coal producer in the nation, distributing over 75 million tons of coal each year.  Roughly 7% of the nations coal supply is in Pennsylvania, and 58% of all electricity used here comes from coal.  However, if the Waxman-Markey bill were to pass, Pennsylvania is looking at a bleak scenario by 2020: a net loss of as many as 66,000 jobs, a sizeable hike in electric bills of residential customers, an increase in natural gas prices, and a significant downward pressure on our gross state product.”

Thompson concluded, “It makes no sense to create unprecedented taxes during these economic times.  The negative effects of a cap and trade are obvious, yet there are no clear benefits. We must convince the public, the media and Congress that cap and trade legislation will be a devastating blow to the economy and will do little - if anything - to reduce `global warming’.”

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