We need a sensible energy plan|Column

Published 5:17 pm Monday, June 15, 2009

By Staff
Jo Bonner
U.S. House of Representatives
As we head into the summer vacation season, gas prices are once again on the rise, and none of us will soon forget the nearly $4 gas prices of last summer. 
In south Alabama, we are currently paying $2.48 per gallon, up 35 cents in just the last month alone.  As our national economy continues to struggle — and as most Americans are budgeting every dollar — higher energy prices are the last thing struggling families need.
At the forefront of the president’s energy discussion is a cap-and-trade proposal which would create an overall limit on greenhouse gas emissions, a program that would act very much like a national energy tax.
Some estimates suggest millions of jobs would be lost as manufacturers ship their plants to countries with less stringent environmental regulations, hurting American workers and the environment.
The administration’s plan would require greenhouse gas reductions of 17 percent by 2020, growing to over 40 percent by 2030. It is widely accepted that electric utilities do not currently have the technology to meet these goals, and until those technologies are available, the costs will be passed to the American people in the form of large increases in electricity, natural gas and petroleum prices.
The Democrats’ national energy tax would have a particularly devastating impact on the state of Alabama.
Last month, I joined the rest of the Alabama House delegation in writing a letter to the chairman and ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee specifically addressing the use of renewable energy sources.
In our letter we wrote, “States like Alabama that do not meet the Renewable Electricity Standard requirement will be forced to purchase renewable fuel credits, the cost of which will inevitably be passed along to the consumer in the form of higher utility rates.”
The plan only promises to further damage the national economy, and for the sake of our economic security and our environment, we need a better plan.
I never heard anyone claim they were not taxed enough, wished they had more government intrusion in their daily lives or had weaker job security. We must increase American energy production made by American workers, encourage greater efficiency and conservation, and promote the use of alternative fuels.