EPA carbon regulations will raise the price of energy. Environmentalists do not dispute this point – they welcome it. While they use the euphemism “putting a price on carbon” what they really mean is making energy more expensive so people don’t use it. However, hitting families with more expensive power, heating, cooling, food, and gas bills is a bad idea in good times, but to propose such a plan in the middle of an economic crisis is irresponsible at best. Right now, families all across the country are struggling to make ends meet and now it appears that President Obama is prepared to ask them to suffer an even heavier burden.
EPA carbon regulations will hit hardest Midwest, Great Plains and Southern States that depend heavily on electricity from coal. No surprise that support for climate legislation and carbon regulation comes primarily from States in the Northeast and West Coast that will escape the largest increases in energy costs under any carbon program. Similarly, these States have also driven out most of their manufacturing jobs, so they have much less to lose. In contrast, blue-collar workers in the heartland depend upon good-paying energy-intensive manufacturing jobs to maintain their middle class way of life. Higher energy costs from carbon legislation will kill these jobs and export them to lower energy cost countries like China. Ironically, due to lax pollution standards and advance notice that these countries won’t cut carbon emissions, total carbon emissions may even go up. Left behind will be unemployed American workers who can no longer afford health care, saving for retirement, or a college education for their children.
Let me be clear, I support cutting carbon emissions. I support increased efforts toward energy efficiency, wind and solar, nuclear energy, biofuels, hybrid battery plug-in vehicles and carbon capture and sequestration technology – all of which will greatly reduce the amount of carbon we emit. What I oppose is imposing expensive and cumbersome new regulatory burdens through Clean Air Act carbon regulations that even many environmental groups agree are not the best way to control carbon.
Higher energy taxes and burdensome regulations is a recipe for further economic disaster. While I can’t speak for my colleagues, this is one Senator unwilling to put a Missouri family out of work in an irresponsible attempt to regulate greenhouse gasses.