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Cap and tax = national energy tax

Enzi vows to push back against similar legislation

July 8, 2009

Washington, D.C. – Following a week traveling in Wyoming and listening to constituents, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., heard time and again the concern many people have with the energy bill recently passed by the House. Enzi said the bill is a national energy tax disguised as a program to decrease carbon emissions when in reality the cap and tax program included in the bill is like a Ponzi scheme.

"Cap and tax is designed to take money from business and their customers, plain and simple. It does hardly anything to stop carbon emissions. The plan is for the government to print a bunch of certificates, not backed by anything, then give away and auction them among energy companies. Once the companies get the certificates they will pass the increased price of their energy products down to you and me, the consumers. Companies don’t pay taxes, consumers do. Then when energy and gas bills get more expensive, the government will take the money from certificates and give a small portion of the money back to who political leaders see fit. If you are in the favored group then maybe you can pay your increased utility bill that the government caused in the first place. I call this a Ponzi scheme,” said Enzi.

“The House passed the bill by buying votes with pork projects. There are hundreds of pages in the bill that have nothing to do with energy legislation and everything to do with securing pet projects. That type of vote trading is a felony in Wyoming and it should be a felony in Washington. Our country can’t afford expensive and detrimental legislation.                                                                

“Not only is cap and tax bad domestic policy it would hinder U.S. global competitiveness by increasing the cost of doing business. Subjecting U.S. companies to a national energy tax is like dropping anchor on a sailboat at the start of a race. It doesn’t make sense unless you want to lose,” said Enzi.   

The Senate Finance Committee held a hearing today to consider the international trade consequences a cap and tax system would have on the U.S. economy.

Yesterday the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing on clean energy and reducing global warming and the impacts that could have on American competitiveness.

The House passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, H.R. 2454, by a vote of 219-217on June 26. The Senate is expected to take up energy legislation before August.