Climate Control Bill — What’s More Important to You?by Tim Manni
Not matter the decisions you’re making, you have to weigh the costs. You have to do your best to determine the foreseeable and unforeseeable consequences of your actions. The consequences pervading the minds of lawmakers as they decide whether or not to vote for President Obama’s climate-control bill, otherwise known as the “cap-and-trade bill,” are harmful climate change or rising costs.
The bill is designed to slow negative climate change, specifically limiting the emission of harmful greenhouse gases:
A bill aiming to slash greenhouse-gas emissions to 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 cleared [the House] by a vote of 219-212 last month. By the middle of the century, it would cut emissions to 80% below 2005 levels.
While the narrow vote in the House suggests that lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are skeptical about the good that will come from this bill, a stark divide remains between the two political parties regarding how much this plan will cost taxpayers (emphasis added):
Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, the panel’s top Republican, said the cap-and-trade system would amount to the largest tax increase in American history, a statement echoed by many Republicans but shot down by Democrats including Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, who chairs the committee.
“There are no new taxes,” [Sen. Barbara Boxer of California] said Tuesday morning.
Forgetting about the opinions of lawmakers for a second, FoxNews.com reports that small businesses owners are irate over the bill. David McArthur, Vice President of his family’s 52-year-old bakery, says his congressman was supporting “a direct tax increase on small business” by voting for the bill. McArthur claims that since every aspect of his business will be impacted by the bill, “high prices could cost his company up to $15,000 a year in an industry with a very tight margin for profit.”
The Congressional Budget Office estimated that in the first few years the bill would only have a minimal effect on most taxpayers, costing an average family about 25 cents a day.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu feels that the only way to fix negative climate change is through such a bill:
“Denial of the climate-change problem will not change our destiny; a comprehensive energy and climate bill that caps and then reduces carbon emissions will,” [he] said.