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  • Guest Blogger: Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) on ACES


    The House of Representatives is prepared to pass the President’s energy tax, also known as the American Clean Energy and Security Act – or “ACES”. ACES is a fitting name for this particular bill, because it gambles with the future of the American people. In Blackjack, the dealer might have an ace showing, but one card in the dealer’s hand is always hidden. In this case, the hidden card is the real costs of this bill to the American taxpayer. What the taxpayer doesn’t know is that the odds for the game are that you lose.

    No matter how many times the Majority deals in additional give-aways to special interests or another tax break to offset the monumental costs of this bill, the end will be just the same – the taxpayer goes bust. The House wins. ACES is a product of the supermajority the Democrats have in the House of Representatives. Given the rules and procedures of the House, reasonable amendments will be defeated or even blocked from consideration. The final product will not be a real starting point to begin this debate on climate change. ACES will have a devastating effect on our economy, and we will have no environmental benefit to show for it. I’m not alone in this assessment.

    According to Harvard Economist Martin Feldstein in a recent Washington Post article, ACES will “have a trivially small effect on global warming while imposing substantial costs on all American households.” He cites the Congressional Budget Office, which estimated that the resulting increases in consumer prices needed to achieve a 15 percent CO2 reduction, slightly less than the ACES target, would raise the cost of living by $1,600 a year for every family in America. That’s a $1,600 tax on every American.

    The Heritage Foundation predicts that the ACES approach could cost the economy $9.6 trillion and more than 1 million lost jobs by 2035. These are just the raw numbers. The real potential for economic pain goes much farther.

    As David Sokol, Chairman of MidAmerican Energy, points out, ACES could be a bonanza for more Wall Street corruption and greed. ACES would “deal in” investment banks, hedge funds, and other speculators in the cap-and-trade market. Sokol points out, “If you liked what credit default swaps did to our economy, you’re going to love cap and trade.” Coincidentally, the bill allows for credit default swaps. Sokol is not alone in his assessment.

    British Scientist James Lovelock, noted chemist and environmentalist, stated in January of this year that “[c]arbon trading, with its huge government subsidies, is just what finance and industry wanted.” He went on to say, “it’ll make a lot of money for a lot of people and postpone the moment of reckoning.” Carbon markets can also cause massive fluctuations. We can look to Europe as an example.

    In February of this year, the Financial Times wrote an article entitled “Fall in CO2 Price a Risk to Green Investment.” It seems that the price of carbon in the European Union had fallen so low that it no longer provided an incentive to lower carbon development. According to the Norway-based consulting and analytics firm Point Carbon, the value of the global carbon market will drop from $118 billion in 2008 to about $79.7 billion in 2009. That is a severe economic contraction, similar to the ones we have seen in our markets.

    According to the Times, “the recent falls have demonstrated the difficulty for the European Commission and member states to set carbon quotas at levels industry finds acceptable, while providing a reliable incentive to low-carbon investment.” The carbon price has also been affected by the recent recession. According to the Times, “as companies produce less, they will need fewer permits.” This just further highlights how risky a gamble creating a carbon market can be.

    Another problem is the huge economic gamble ACES makes by bypassing cheaper, low-carbon fuels by heavily relying on unreliable expensive energy. ACES mandates by 2020 that electric utilities meet 20 percent of their electricity demand through renewable energy sources and energy efficiency.

    This is the wrong approach. We need an “all of the above energy strategy” to address our nation’s needs. We need to make America’s energy as clean as we can, as fast as we can, without raising energy prices for American families. That’s how you create and sustain economic development. Let’s develop all of our energy resources – wind, solar, geo-thermal, hydro, clean coal, nuclear and natural gas. The United States is blessed with abundant energy resources. They are right here for us to use in a clean and environmentally-friendly way. Coal is cheap and abundant in America. It’s what’s keeping energy affordable. Uranium is abundant in America too. Let’s develop this proven, zero-carbon resource. And yes, let’s develop renewable energies like wind, solar, and hydro-power.

    As Lisa Jackson, Director of the Environmental Protection Agency stated on a recent trip to my home State of Wyoming, “As a home of wind, coal, and natural gas, Wyoming is at the heart of America’s energy future.” That is because Wyoming has it all – coal, wind, natural gas, oil and uranium for nuclear power. We need it all. The bottom line is the Democrat’s cap and tax bill costs jobs, and raises energy prices. I don’t understand why we can’t make America’s energy as clean as we can, as fast as we can, without raising energy prices on American families.

    Why are the American people being given this stacked deck, where all the options hurt the economy, raise energy prices, and cost jobs? The reality is, this partisan energy tax bill is a bad bet. We shouldn’t double down with any more taxpayer money to bail out the climate through an energy tax.

    The views expressed by guest bloggers on the Foundry do not necessarily reflect the views of the Heritage Foundation.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to Guest Blogger: Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) on ACES

    1. Fred T. Baggs Cheye says:

      Our Senator is right on target. Unfortunately in the climate of our Congress, his voice carries little weight. I have a suggestion for the Heritage Foundation. Make(if you can) Dick Cheney a member of your Board of Trustees.

    2. AntonioSosa says:

      Senator Barrasso is right, but how can we defend ourselves and our children from such a horrendous scam?

    3. Barb -mn says:

      It also creates a waste of money in unproductive make-work.

      How about using time more efficiently and stop proposing idiotic mandates on changing colors of roofs, cars and light bulbs, etc. The government has no right to be in this area when there is no threat. Let the private sector do it for themselves and the consumers choose for themselves.

      The florescent light bulb is not only a poison and producing government business of recycling at more costs, how many people do you really think are going to follow the recycling hassle and there comes the next crisis. Plus, it is more of a waste of energy if it's used for less then 10 minutes. And the more you may turn it on and off the quicker it loses it's life. One in the most lit room of the house would be feasible and efficient to stay on for a long period of time. But to mandate every light be florescent bulbs is wasteful and impracticable. Obama's kickback to GE. GE USED TO BE A COMPANY WE TRUSTED. NO MORE.

    4. Christopher Popham S says:

      If the ACES Bill of 2009, otherwise known as the Waxman/Markey Bill, is enacted the following

      would occur:

      1. A crippling of small business.

      2. The potential for corruption in terms of

      billions in pork spending.

      3. An increased overall energy cost, resulting

      in higher electric costs for consumers.

      4. A possible GDP loss of almost $5 trillion

      and estimated job losses of between

      400-800,000 jobs per year.

      5. Stress, financial hardship on small business

      and consumers alike.

      It is the responsibilty of our legislators to plan

      ahead for our safety and economic security, but

      surely, in the midst of one of America's worst

      economic downturns, our Congressmen and women

      cannot be seriously considering such a damaging

      long range piece of legislation. We seem so intent on 'bailing out' banks, funding failing wars and gouging the American taxpayer for every dollar earned. It is time to focus on the priority of repairing AMERICA first and foremost, and returning to us the promise of peace, good health, prosperity and happiness, which our Constitution guarantees for us.

    5. Kenneth Arnold, Geor says:

      The Grand deception started back in the Carter Administration when the news media blitzed the American Public with the dangers surrounding Nuclear Power. "Not In MY Back Yard" became a rallying cry against storing nuclear waste in remote areas, only because pseudo environmentalists provided doomsday scenarios of nuclear radiation leakage into subterrainean aquifers. It made big headlines!!

      Go figure; they lied to the American Public then and we the American Public are still buying into it along with CO2 sequestration as a solution for Clean Coal?? Think of the multi billions or Trillions of dollars that are going to be spent on this technique!! True CO2 sequestration will take dozens of years to perfect at the expense of the American taxpayer.

      The bottom line is; our nuclear stations are some of the safest operating plants in the entire world. If Congress wants to do something right for a change they should pursue nuclear power development, put money into a "proven technology" and retire the Old Coal fired plants as nuclear plants become operational.

      Nuclear fuel is cheap and plentiful; this technology has a proven history for reliable power. We can't afford to "dilly-dally" with these renewable energy supply resources to keep the "National Grid" secure. Those of us in the Power Generation business know this to be true. Renewable energy resources such as wind, solar, biomass and tidal have a very real place, but "base load" nuclear units are needed now to keep energy costs affordable for our Grandchildren and their children.

    6. Dr.Tipp Bear Lake MI says:

      this is interesting that we should be dealing with enviromental issues of the kind in 2009. the cost of which will break the financial back of the USA. I read an artical in news week 1974(?) about new up coming threats to the USA. the CIA had reported that a new organization had been started in Hasburg,Germany that would concentrate on creating invironmental issues as a main weapon used by the KGB to destroy the economy of the west. The name of the organization funded by the KGB was and is GREEN PEACE. it makes sense that the democratin party would embrace the environmental issues as thier own most if not all the the environmental groups operating in the USA today have thier roots and funding from Green Peace.

    7. Gloria, Utah says:

      What I find increasing disturbing in all of the 'save the planet, stick it to the people' trend is we are being treated as if we don't possess a brain. American's by nature love our country and do what we can to take care of the land. I conserve energy in my home because it's my responsiblity to keep my own costs down. It amazes me the pansy-butt idea's that are coming out of Washington from adults. Cap and trade? Cow emmissions? The very stuff we breath out of our own lungs is being regulated and taxed? Now tell me how ANY of that makes common sense. It doesn't. Any bonehead thinking it all needs to be regulated and actual money THAT WE DON'T HAVE paid out has got to be crazy in the head. I'm speechless.

      "If a cow 'cuts one' in a field and nobody is around to hear or smell it, does it still melt an ice cap?" I feel like I'm living in a bad movie, not the greatest country in the world.

      Good luck, Senator! I wouldn't want your job for love nor money. It's got to be hell being in the minority and trying to turn the 'insanity' tide. Please keep trying….. most American's know this is all drivel.

    8. CR12 says:

      i like to see his green initiative makes him well rounded and favorable from both parties. those interested in Green initiatives regardless of political affiliations check out http://www.e3bank.com they offer incentives for investing in green products/technologies

    9. Kent, Wyoming says:

      I think that the Senator is right on. But, what continues to bother me is that we need to have a debate on this global warming thing. We were told, after Al Gore made that wonderfully truthful film, that Global Warming was here to stay, there would be no debate, there would be no revaluation. It seems to me that if we could dispprove this "global warming" crap that a lot of this strange legislation would go away.

    10. Gundoszvk says:

      Aloha! wsy

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