AUSTIN – Approval of HR 2454, the “American Clean Energy and Security Act” scheduled for debate today in the U.S. House of Representatives, would be a major step toward dismantling America’s economic engine, according to the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
“Texas is the nation’s leading energy producer and the economic engine of the country,” said Kathleen Hartnett White, director of the Foundation’s Armstrong Center for Energy & the Environment. “The Obama Administration and the U.S. Congress should be grateful that Texas is trying to lead our nation out of the recession, but instead they appear to have singled Texans out for disproportionate punishment.”
Texas’ economy would take a substantial hit if this legislation takes effect in 2012. Recent data from the Congressional Budget Office indicates that Texans would see their electric bills increase by $1.1 billion that year. Data from the Energy Information Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency shows that Texas would have to buy more than $1.5 billion in international offsets that year to cover its share of required U.S. emissions reductions. Comptroller Susan Combs has estimated that Texas could lose 135,000 to 277,000 jobs in 2012, with potential job losses increasing to 400,000 by the year 2030.
“Cap-and-trade will increase Texans’ electric bills more than any state in the nation,” White said. “It will also transfer more Texas wealth to other countries than any other state. These higher costs will close the doors of many trade-exposed Texas manufacturers, outsourcing hundreds of thousands of Texas jobs.”
White pointed out that existing carbon-control technologies are not affordable or effective for large-scale operations, and that alternatives to our fossil-fuel-based energy system are decades away from being commercially viable.
“Cap-and-trade is nothing more than a huge carbon tax-and-ration scheme that will harm all consumers and the entire economy,” White said.
Kathleen Hartnett White is a Distinguished Senior Fellow-in-Residence and the Director of the Anne & Tobin Armstrong Center for Energy & the Environment at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. White is the former Chair of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan, free-market research institute based in Austin. More information can be found on the Foundation’s primary website, www.TexasPolicy.com.
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