Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The point has been missed

Dear Mr. G-Funk:

What a pleasure to hear from you. Thank you for contacting me to share your opinions regarding cap and trade. Hearing from constituents on issues of concern is important to our office and me as we work to represent our district.

As you know, in recent years there has been an ongoing debate in Congress on the best legislative method to limit the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. One of these proposals known as "cap and trade," would set ceilings on the amount of greenhouse gases that may be emitted. Should this legislation become law it will create a cap and trade system that will require Americans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020.

However, this government mandate would effectively tax energy producers for their carbon emissions, a tax which even proponents of cap and trade admit will most likely be passed onto consumers.

Additionally, the official budget revenue numbers for cap and trade may understate the actual revenue it will produce. The Wall Street Journal reported that Jason Furman, the White House Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, told a bipartisan group of Senate aides that the cap and trade indirect tax system could actually generate $1.3 trillion to $1.9 trillion between fiscal years 2012 and 2019. This cost for the typical Tennessean could be between $2100 to $3150 per person per year in higher energy costs. As a member on the House Committee of Energy and Commerce, I have serious concerns with the new mandates that are proposed in ACES and I have presented those concerns to my colleagues. Now is not the time for the U.S. to impose unilateral climate restrictions which will drive up energy costs for businesses and consumers, creating greater challenges for U.S. companies to compete with foreign businesses during a weakened economy.

By contrast, throughout my tenure in Congress, I have remained a leading advocate for drilling for American oil and gas, building more refineries to process fuel, expanding our nuclear and hydropower resources, developing alternative fuels and encouraging the production of more energy efficient vehicles. Since our economy will remain dependent on fossil fuels in the short term, Congress must increase domestic oil and gas exploration and development to keep pace with foreign demand. At the same time we must also focus on mid-range and long-term solutions that will promote energy independence within the next twenty years.

Please know that as the 111th Congress continues to address this issue I will keep your views in mind and continue working hard to reduce Tennessee families' financial burden from nearsighted government mandates.

Please know that I appreciate both your interest and time in contacting us on this issue.


Marsha Blackburn

Member of Congress


Where exactly does Rep. Blackburn address climate change?