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Update from Rep. Walden on National Energy Tax

From: Marshall, Colby [mailto:[email protected]]

Hello everyone,

A few minutes ago, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve the so called “cap and trade” legislation (HR 2454) by a vote of 219-212. The national energy tax, as it’s often called, has been briskly moved through the legislative process over the last few months—often times bypassing critical reviews and debate on key provisions and economic costs associated with the plan. Here is a link to Greg’s floor statement on this bill

This bill was rushed to through the legislative process. At 2:49 this morning, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Hollywood) unveiled a 309-page amendment to the 1,201-page bill that no one had seen before. One hour later, the House leadership under Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) decided to allow just one of 224 other amendments to receive consideration on the House floor.

Rep. Greg Walden has vigorously opposed the flawed legislation. Still, Greg worked hard through the committee process to ensure the bill would count energy from woody biomass off of public lands and hydropower as a renewable energy sources. As written now, the bill limits both from the country’s renewable energy future.

The national energy tax will make it more expensive to farm, ranch and run a small business. PacifiCorp, who serves 553,000 electricity customers in Oregon, announced that it would have to raise its energy rates by 17.9% in the legislation’s first year. A study commissioned by The Fertilizer Institute shows that a cap and trade bill would result in an additional $6 billion to $12 billion in total crop production costs, leading to a significant decline in farm income.

The Oregon Farm Bureau calls it damaging. “This is arguably one of the most damaging pieces of legislation that agriculture has seen in years… The point must be stressed that if this is a global problem, there needs to be a global solution. This legislation would prescribe these changes for the US regardless of what is done by other countries, such as China and India, to undertake similar programs.” (Oregon Farm Bureau’s Legislative Bulletin, 6/25/09)

The bill now goes to the U.S. Senate for consideration.

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