House Passes Punitive Cap-And-Tax Bill
New energy tax “demonstrates just how distant and out of touch Washington is from Wisconsin,” says Ryan
WASHINGTON – Wisconsin’s 1st District Congressman Paul Ryan today spoke out on behalf of the families and small businesses that would be on the receiving end of a massive new energy tax. Earlier today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2454, American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, by a vote of 219 to 212, with bipartisan opposition. Ryan voted against this legislation.
The center of the deeply flawed H.R. 2454 is a cap-and-trade scheme aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by increasing energy costs on all Americans. The complicated cap-and-trade program would require all energy producers to purchase expensive government permits in exchange for the right to produce energy from certain natural resources or to produce certain goods like steel, aluminum, or cement. Without regard for the detrimental economic consequences, the proponents of the legislation believe this unilateral energy tax would help reduce global temperatures by a fraction of a degree by the end of the century.
Ryan’s vote against the 1,200 page bill came after only three hours of general debate, with Majority rejecting the single amendment they allowed. In addition to the job losses that would result from the smaller economy, Ryan raised concerns with the impact on the budgets of individual households. Families would face increasing costs on not only energy – but all products that require energy to make them (i.e., everything). Various nonpartisan studies have estimated that average annual household cost increases would range from $425 per household to over $4000 per household. Specifically, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimate that Wisconsin families will pay an extra $230 million in energy tax once the bill is fully implemented in 2012.
Congressman Ryan fought against this draconian energy tax and supports H.R. 2828, the American Energy Innovation Act, a commonsense alternative to promote a cleaner environment without causing further economic devastation in the middle of a painful recession.
Following today’s action of the House floor, Congressman Ryan issued the following statement:
“Today’s vote reminds me of just how distant and out of touch Washington is from Wisconsin. At a time when jobs are increasingly scarce across Southern Wisconsin, Congress passed legislation explicitly designed to shrink our economy and increase energy costs on all Americans. Wisconsin is one of the nation’s top manufacturing States. Wisconsin entrepreneurs, small businesses, and workers shouldn’t need permission from the federal government to produce, grow, and create jobs, yet that is exactly the paternalistic message sent by Congress today.