Cap and Trade Bill Economic Suicide for Taxpayers and Businesses, says National Center for Public Policy Research

Washington, DC – Get ready to be taxed even more, America!

Memorial Day is the target date set by Democrats Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Ed Markey (D-MA) for passage of a cap-and-trade bill that promises economic hardship for all. The Waxman-Markey “American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009” (HR 2454) would raise taxes on American families by nearly $3,100 a year, lead to huge job losses, and dramatically raise the energy expenditures of American households.

Under a cap-and-trade policy, companies would be forced to raise energy prices. This would unleash a series of adverse economic consequences and hardships for Americans, as numerous studies dictate.

* The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis determined that Waxman-Markey would reduce aggregate GDP by $7.4 trillion, kill 844,00 jobs and raise the energy bill paid by a typical family by about $1,500 annually.

* A study by the National Association of Manufacturers projected that emissions caps, similar to those previously rejected by the U.S. Senate calling for a 63% cut in emissions by 2050, would reduce GDP by up to $269 billion and cost 850,000 jobs.

* A study conducted by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology determined the restrictions could raise gasoline prices by 29%, electricity prices by 55% and natural gas prices by 15% by 2015.

* A 2007 report by the Congressional Budget Office examining the costs of cutting carbon emissions just 15% noted that customers “would face persistently higher prices for products such as electricity and gasoline. Those price increases would be regressive in that poorer households would bear a larger burden relative to their income than wealthier households would.”

Given these dire consequences, some may be surprised that some of the nation’s largest corporations are lobbying for this bill. Companies participating in the United States Climate Action Partnership, a lobbying group of over thirty corporations and environmental activist organizations, are trying to profit from a government-mandated “cap and trade” anti-global warming policy by selling so-called carbon credits from reductions in greenhouse gases.

During last week’s ConocoPhillips shareholders meeting, Tom Borelli, Ph.D, director of the Free Enterprise Project at the National Center for Public Policy Research confronted ConocoPhillips Chairman James Mulva about ConocoPhillips’ involvement in the USCAP. Mulva responded by saying he wanted to be at the table when energy policy decisions were being made. [An audio recording of the exchange is available online at ].

“ConocoPhillips CEO James Mulva has also not done his homework,” said Borelli. ConocoPhillips has made a significant investment in Canadian oil sands, which release about three times the amount of carbon dioxide as traditional oil. Since cap-and-trade will increase the cost of carbon emissions, Mulva is lobbying to increase the cost of his investment. In addition, his USCAP partner the Natural Resources Defense Council is taking legal action to block the processing of the oil sands at a ConocoPhillips refinery.”

“Pursuing legislation that will raise energy prices in the middle of a recession is economic suicide. It exposes the inability of these CEOs to connect the dots between economic growth and their future earnings,” Borelli warns. He told Mulva that ConocoPhillips has done a poor job of promoting the “social good” the Company has done in terms of jobs, tax revenues and energy production.

Instead, “USCAP’s support of President Obama’s energy policy for what they deem as the ‘social good,’ illustrates the perils of corporatism – and is eerily similar of the warning in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, which described the unraveling of capitalism,” says Deneen Borelli, a full-time Fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research-sponsored African-American leadership network Project 21.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a free-market communications and research foundation established in 1982 and located on Capitol Hill. It receives support from over 80,000 individual contributors. Under 2 percent of its revenue is received from corporations.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.