Actions Speak Louder Than Words on Energy Tax Debate

During the campaign, President Obama said plans similar to the Waxman-Markey energy tax bill would cause electricity rates to “necessarily skyrocket” and costs will be “passed on to consumers.” Creating new taxes that kill jobs is never a good idea and it’s even worse during a recession. Moreover, a dramatic increase in utility bills would disproportionately hurt the poor, disadvantaged and those who have lost their job.

Throughout this debate, some Democrats have asserted that the cap and trade energy tax scheme will not make much of a difference on the average family’s utility bills. However, a study conducted for the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission estimates Missouri rates could increase as much as 40 percent by 2015 due to these policies.

That’s why I offered an amendment to reverse this bill once your electricity rates go up 10 percent. Democrats who support the energy tax balked. “That won’t happen,” they claimed. My amendment wasn’t needed, they argued. It seemed logical if they really believed that the costs of this tax will not be passed on to consumers then why not support my amendment as an emergency exit for American families.

I believe actions speak louder than words. It speaks volumes that the same officials who claim energy costs will not increase by more than 10 percent due to this tax refused to support my emergency exit amendment.

Again to protect consumers, I offered the same amendment today and increased the number to 20 percent, believing surely this was a reasonable figure. Every Democrat opposed this bill.

Some have argued falsely that Republicans are simply saying “no” to Democrat ideas without offering any solutions of their own. This is not the case. I for one have offered many ideas and possible solutions to help improve America’s energy security. I support an “all of the above” approach including more production, more alternatives and more conservation. What I do not support is a backdoor energy tax on American families.

After defeating the two amendments I offered, supporters of the energy tax went on to vote en bloc to defending the energy tax even after your electricity rates double. It is clear the national Democrats’ big government tax and spend era has reached a new level – and, unfortunately, if we cannot stop them, every American is going to pay.