From the people that brought you the Stimulus Bill that wasn't, the Cash for Clunker's program that dried up, and the Health Care Bill that was free unless you earn an income, comes the Obama administration answer to Global Warming: higher taxes for business. The bill, half again as long as the Health Care Bill before Congress "charges" industries who emit carbon dioxide fumes. Apparently with their new expertise in knowing what you need as far as medical care, the Democrats feel qualified to speak for the air you breathe and the water you drink also. In fact surcharges on drinking water and air for "consumers" are in the works, but that is another issue. By the way, each of Arizona's Democratic caucus wholeheartedly supports the bill.
According to energy and policy experts at the Heritage Foundation, the climate bill will cost Arizona 5.6 billion dollars and raise electricity rates by $620 per household. These are not Republican estimates. They come from independent policy anylists with PhD's in economics behind their names.
The Climate Change bill, sponsored by Henry Waxman and Ed Markey, forces businesses to pay for carbon dioxide emissions that plants produce naturally (hence the possibility of taxing individuals). the Congressional Budget Office, taking flack for criticizing the costs of HR3200, has been accused of underestimating the costs of Waxhead's bill, a strictly partisan creation passed along party lines. In fact, efforts by Republicans to moderate the bill included:
# Mike Rogers (R-MI) who offered an amendment that would have cancelled the Act unless China and India adopt similar standards.
# Roy Blunt (R-MO) offered an amendment that would have cancelled the Act if the average price of electricity in a residential sector increases by 10% or more. After defeat, he offered a second amendment that would have cancelled only Title III (the cap-and-trade plan) of the Act if residential electricity prices rise by 20%. After defeat of this measure, George Radanovich (R-CA) offered a similar amendment that would have cancelled only Title III if electricity prices in the residential sector rise by 100%. This measure was also defeated. In the hearing, Bart Stupak (D-MI) called into question the seriousness of these "message amendments." He stated they are only offered to be used by the Republicans to spur sensational headlines about lack of sympathy by Democrats. Ranking Member Joe Barton (R-TX) responded that they were indeed "message amendments" to the American people in an attempt to convey that supporters of the bill care nothing about cost to the ratepayer.
# Lee Terry (R-NE) offered an amendment that would have canceled the Act if average gas prices reach $5 per gallon.
# Fred Upton (R-MI) offered an amendment that would have suspended the Act if the nation's unemployment rate for the prior year reaches 15% as a result of the Act.
All these amendments were defeated, meaning that if the bill passes, there are no restrictions on its impact to the economy.
What is the purpose of this horrendous bill which will strap our economy for the next 30 years? To make up for the Bush administration's snubbing of the Kyoto protocols when the Chinese refused to take part, an embarrassment for liberal groups with international connections. Obama promised to make amends to the international community and please the environmental groups that campaigned for him by grinding the U.S. economy to a halt if necessary.
Do not expect any town hall meetings on this issue. The only hope for defeating Waxman-Markey is in the Democratic controlled Senate. Just remember that Raul Grijalva has decided that 49,000 jobs in Arizona and additional debt to the Chinese (who will not be abiding by the treaty) are worth making a handful of European tree huggers happy.
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