Stop costly new regulations that would increase unemployment, raise consumer prices, and weaken the nation’s global competitiveness with virtually no impact on global temperatures. (Proposed by Jan Heinricks, Spring, TX)
Affordable energy is literally fundamental to prosperity. High energy prices always contribute to economic slowdown. The whole point of cap-and-trade (see definition here) and other such schemes is to raise energy prices to discourage the use of fossil fuels. They therefore will have a significant negative effect on the economy. The European Union’s weak cap-and-trade scheme has cost European consumers over $130 billion since 2005, but has not yet contributed to any reduction in emissions. Analyses of various cap-and-trade schemes suggest that they will do little to avoid rising temperatures without China and other nations following suit, which they have consistently refused to agree to.
Cap and trade also has a significant regional effect, imposing new costs on states that produce and use energy intensively (for example, in manufacturing), while rewarding states that use less energy intensively (for example, by being service industry-based). This will essentially translate into a wealth transfer from interior states to coastal states.
Congressional efforts to introduce cap-and-trade schemes should therefore be opposed. Heavy-handed regulation by the EPA would also have the same, or worse, effect. Congress has the power to stop EPA imposing such harmful regulations and should do so.
~ Iain Murray, Competitive Enterprise Institute