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 Global Warming Debate Heats Up

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March Mellow



Join date : 2009-04-26
Posts : 209
Location : Char-Meck

PostSubject: Global Warming Debate Heats Up   Thu May 28, 2009 11:58 am

Global Warming Debate Heats Up

Last Thursday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed HR 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act. There are several parts of the bill I can agree with, and I had hoped we could move forward in solving our energy challenges in a more deliberate manner. However, this bill aims to decrease carbon emissions through cap-and-trade, and I opposed it. This bill increases energy costs for families and businesses and will put Americans out of work. There will be $642 billion in new taxes in this bill. The National Black Chamber of Commerce released a study that indicates the ACES bill would increase the average family’s annual electricity bill by $390. The Heritage Foundation found the annual cost increase would be $1500 for a family of four. Both studies show that this measure would destroy 2.5 million jobs (www.nationalbcc.org; www.heritage.org).

During these difficult times, we must make sure that any climate change legislation does not unjustly harm the U.S. economy. We must also make sure that climate change legislation is a part of a larger international effort. China and India are huge polluters and must be a part of the solution. Short of this, a climate change policy would not only harm the U.S. economy, it would provide little or no environmental benefit. Industries that emit greenhouse gases in the U.S. could simply relocate to areas with less stringent regulations, and more jobs would be sent offshore. Even more, there has been no evidence as to the extent that this bill will positively affect the climate.

We must reduce carbon emissions, and there are ways that the United States can do this – ways that do not unnecessarily damage our economy. One of those is nuclear energy. Unfortunately, the bill that was considered this week does not include any provisions to expand the use of nuclear energy, which is free of carbon emissions. Those who support this bill state that its goals are to reduce greenhouse gasses and create jobs. Well, building a nuclear power plant creates 2000 well-paying construction jobs. Operating a nuclear plant requires an average of 800 employees. Nuclear power can produce consistent, baseload electricity in a cost effective manner without any carbon emissions. In fact, Dr. Patrick Moore, a founder of Greenpeace International, has consistently stated that we cannot have a serious discussion about reducing our carbon footprint without nuclear power.

The ACES bill requires states to generate a certain percentage of their energy from renewable resources. However, this bill picks winners and losers by narrowly defining the mix of renewable energy sources that can be used to meet this standard - putting states like North Carolina and others in the Southeast and Midwest at a disadvantage due to geographic limitations. North Carolina has already implemented a renewable electricity standard that will increase renewable energy generation using a portfolio of resources available in our state. The one-size-fits-all approach of ACES doesn’t allow states the flexibility needed to meet a renewable resource standard cost effectively.

“I believe that any carbon cap policy must provide safety valve mechanisms to halt implementation of the program should it cause job losses or price spikes,” said Rep. Myrick. “During the Energy and Commerce consideration of the bill, my Republican colleagues and I supported numerous amendments to include these off ramps. Unfortunately, these amendments were all voted down, primarily on party line votes.”

This bill also establishes a new carbon futures market – ripe for corruption, as subsidized emissions permits will be granted to special interests and then traded.

“Everyone agrees that the use of alternative fuel sources is our ideal goal, but it’s not going to happen overnight,” said Rep. Myrick. “We need a ‘bridge’ to achieve that goal. We have to look at all viable sources of energy to solve the energy problems we face. Electric cars. Hydrogen fuel cells. Nuclear energy. Clean coal technology. We’re working towards all of it; but we need to use increased American energy”.

The bill is under the jurisdiction of several committees, which will review it. If it passes out of these committees, it will be sent to the House Floor for a vote.

The Budget and Immigration
Earlier this month, President Obama outlined his budget for FY2010. It includes a $112 million increase in funding for E-Verify to improve database function and increase employer enrollment, and a 30% increase in ICE Secure Communities funding to identify, detain and remove all criminal illegal aliens held in custody.

One program that wasn’t funded, however, was the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, which provides federal funding to state detention centers that incur costs for detaining criminal illegal aliens.

“The Federal government has failed to address our immigration system, and the fact that it is now going to deny states the financial assistance they need to detain illegal immigrants is ridiculous,” said Rep. Myrick. “If states are helping to enforce federal law, the assistance should be there”.
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