Oppose Congress’ tax-hiking energy bill

Message from the National Taxpayers Union

An Open Letter to Congress: Taxes, Regulations, and Subsidies are NOT the Answer for Energy Security!

Dear Member of Congress:

On behalf of the 362,000 members of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), I write to reiterate our very serious concerns with energy legislation Congress may soon consider. Specifically, we would oppose the inclusion of any or all of the following provisions:

Huge Tax Increases — The House previously passed $14 billion in vengeful tax hikes on so-called “Big Oil.” Though billed as a way to move us toward energy independence, similar taxes in the past have simply reduced domestic oil production and increased oil imports. Congress ought not to repeat those mistakes.

Renewable Fuels Standard — Forcing Americans to consume 36 billion gallons of heavily-subsidized ethanol and other alternative fuels will serve to dramatically raise fuel prices, taxes, and food costs for everyone.

Renewable Portfolio Standard — Requiring that 15 percent of all electricity be produced by alternative sources will likewise raise utility bills, causing harm to those Americans who can least afford the additional expense.

Higher Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards — Though raising CAFE standards may appear productive at first blush, ultimately this policy would have little effect on total fuel consumption while creating vehicles that are more expensive and less safe.

Price Gouging Language — There is no evidence that price gouging has taken place, even after disasters like Hurricane Katrina. Congress ought not to interfere with the delicate balance of energy markets.

Attached to this letter, I’ve included a copy of a statement we released in October that warned of the ill effects of legislation taking any of the approaches listed above. This open letter to Congress was signed by 234 economists across the country, including a Nobel Laureate. The signatories offered the following conclusion: “By easing regulatory burdens, ending distortions that divert productive capacity, and allowing the price mechanism to do its job, Americans will have far more energy security at a lower cost than any package of taxes, regulations, and subsidies could ever hope to create.”

We urge you to keep that advice in mind as you consider energy legislation in the coming weeks. We look forward to working with you to craft a sound energy policy that avoids destructive and unnecessary costs to taxpayers and consumers.


Andrew Moylan
Government Affairs Manager

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Posted by at 06:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 9 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Anonymous

    Let’s hope you’re right. I mean they listen to what you said. It appears to me our government is attempting to turn us so far backward, we will never see daylight again.. The pols who run our lives are so convinced they are correct they don’t care..I’m willing to bet they never read a history book. God help us. A house divided against its self can not stand. I’m concerned our feet are now made of clay

  • Bob Clark

    Why do people at large not recognize the negative secondary effects of U.S environmental restrictions? For instance, the U.S could be producing another million barrels per day in oil if were not for placing the Anwar (Alaska) oil reserves off limits. It wouldn’t take a lot of new oil supply to weaken oil prices. Weaker oil prices would lessen the temptation of our political leaders to send troops to the Middle East. It would lessen the power of dictators like those in Iran, Venezula, and Putin’s Russia because these regimes are heavily dependent on high oil prices for government revenue. Keeping Anwar out of play probably results in more enviromental negatives than positives when looked at globally. Our enviromental policies are increasingly idiotic. These policies help push U.S manufacturing increasingly overseas to places like China and India where manufacturing processes frequently don’t even have rudimentry enviromental filtering techniques. Too many government rules produce unintended consequences.

  • Jerry

    Bob – you are dead right. The dems only want to hurt the US and are doing everything in their power to do so.
    They don’t want lower gas prices. They love high gas prices. They are out to lunch.

    • dean

      Jerry…”the Dems only want to hurt the US?” Do you really believe that? That you and your conservative friends represent the true US and the rest of us have no business here? Can’t you accept that we all want what is best for the nation and world, but just see things differently?

      And read the post. “Vengful” tax hikes on big oil? Vengful?
      Give me a break Why shouldn’t we tap some of the oil companies huge profits to help pay for the transition away from fossil fuels? And who is “forcing” Americans to do anything? Alternative fuels are a choice. Corn based ethanol I agree is a fiasco, but other alternative fuels (i.e. bio-diesel and sugar cane ethanol) are not.

      Do you really believe that paying a bit more for energy now to get away from burning ever diminishing and hugely damaging fossil fuels that we have to buy from dictators and zealots is bad for our country?

      Many conservatives disagree with you. Not just liberals.

      • DMF

        Actually dean, I do. I haven’t seen anything that says they are willing to listen to anything but their own thoughts and that includes you. You are so concerned about the earth, you forget about people.

        • dean

          If you stop to think about it, people actually live on the earth and depend on its health and productivity, so caring for the latter means caring for the former. That “conservatives” don’t seem to get conservation has always mystified me.

          • Jerry

            Dean – yes, I do really believe it because it is true. The fastest way to energy independence is to get more energy, but the dems are the ones who blocked ANWAR and the dems are the ones who blocked off-shore drilling and the dems are the ones who block most wind farm proposals if they are in view of where they live.

            Think about it.

            Dems don’t really care at all about the environment – they just want power and money – and they sure don’t care about ordinary taxpayers or they would have taken care of the ATM mess, which they helped create, long, long ago.

            I know there are some repubs who are at fault, too, and I don’t dismiss that or them, but dems are ALWAYS on the wrong side of what is best for America and Americans.

            By the way, if dems are so great, why is the dem lead congress at an ALL-TIME low in public regard? Even lower than the President’s.

            That is no accident, Dean. People are not stupid and they know wrong from right and the dems are flat out wrong.

          • dean

            Jerry, there is a difference between being “wrong” on an issue out of a mistake in understanding the problem, and being “wrong” when one knows what is right but chooses the wrong option knowingly. When you said “the Dems only want to hurt the US” you said they have a motive to bring their own nation and people down, To me that is a ridiculous notion, and if you really believe that you have left yourself zero space for constructive politics.

            I’m a liberal dem and I am not opposed to drilling in ANWAR. But I would only support going for the last of our major domestic oil reserves if we at the same time commit to conservation and alternative fuels, because otherwise what do you do when the ANWAR oil is gone?. Even taking ANWAR into account the US has onlt 3% of the total estimated recoverable oil in the world. There is no way we can produce ourselves out of the fix we are in.

            As for the Democratic Congress, if you dig deeper you find that they have lost their own supporters for not taking on Bush strongly enough. I don’t think this disatisfaction will buy your party any more seats in the next election. Quite the opposite.

          • Jerry

            Glad you would support ANWAR drilling. There is nothing wrong with conservation – I just spent 12K on a newer, high efficiency heat pump. We need to drill in ANWAR, though, as even if we conserve, the growing economy will always need more energy.
            Conservation good.
            New energy sources even better.
            Geothermal, oil, coal, nuclear, wind, wave, solar, etc.
            They all can help…except, of course, the joke of ethanol.

            I stand behind my statement that the dems want the US to fail. There can be no other explanation for them to always be on the wrong side of every issue. They do not want what is best for the country – if they did they would not put forth such idiotic legislation.

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