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Brown: Solving Our Energy Crisis with Practical Solutions Instead of Impractical Scare Tactics

June 21, 2009

US Congressman Henry E. Brown, Representing the 1st District of South Carolina
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact Henry E. Brown Office
June 19, 2009

Sharon P. Axson
Director of Communications
Office: 843-747-4175
Mobile: 843-478-6089
Email:Sharon.axson@mail.house.gov

Katie McKinney
Press Secretary
Office: 202-226-9397
Mobile: 202-997-6813
Email: Katie.McKinney@mail.house.gov
WORDS FROM WASHINGTON
Brown: Solving Our Energy Crisis with Practical Solutions Instead of Impractical Scare Tactics

For several weeks now, both my Washington and South Carolina offices have been receiving numerous calls voicing your support for President Obama’s “Clean Energy Act.”

Many of you who called did so because you were encouraged by environmental groups to insist that I support this legislation as well. Unfortunately, what these groups failed to mention is that, in reality, the Democrat’s so called “Clean Energy Act” is nothing more than a national energy tax that will result in fewer jobs and more government control over your daily lives.

I know that many of you in the First District are hurting financially. Once again, gasoline prices are on the rise and utility rates threaten to go higher; posing an even greater hardship on your families. It seems that everyone is looking for the answers to these problems and the challenges we face in terms of energy, but I tell you, this legislation is not the solution.

Some of you have found fault with local energy companies for raising their rates recently, but if this legislation passes, you might as well prepare yourself for those rates to continue going up. The President, when he was still a candidate, said it best a year ago when he said if the cap and trade plan were to pass, utility rates would ‘necessarily skyrocket.’ And he’s right. If it passes, this legislation will require American energy producers to meet new environmental requirements which will cost them, and in turn cost you.

In fact, most experts suggest that an increase of at least $3,100 dollars will be added to each of your family’s already outrageous annual energy costs if this bill is passed, a financial hardship that will greatly impact the poor who spend a greater portion of their income on energy consumption.

As a product of rural America, nothing scares me more than having higher energy taxes placed on the farmers of the First District and the rest of rural America. Agriculture, being energy-intensive, is a bull’s-eye industry for an energy tax. Whether it’s the fuel for the tractor, fertilizer for the crops or the gasoline used to deliver their products, the agriculture industry uses a great deal of energy throughout their production cycle. Under the plan before Congress, that energy may become too expensive to keep a working farm in operation.

Industry overall will suffer under this legislation as production costs will increase, forcing many large manufactures to move to countries with less stringent environmental standards, resulting in little progress toward protecting our global environment. Additionally, if you own a small business, your energy bill will increase, or you will have to pay the government for the carbon you produce. However, as with sales taxes, you won’t pay this money yourself. No, the costs would inevitably be passed on to your customers in the form of higher prices.

Also, do not be fooled as the media tries to frame this legislation as creating the “green jobs” that the economy needs. The reality is, instead of the promise of creating jobs that may never exist, this bill is estimated to result in the loss of anywhere between 1.8 to 7 million jobs, increasing unemployment and placing further economic strain on American families. All for a policy that won’t even achieve its initial goal of reducing carbon emissions.

So to sum things up, if you like being cool in the summer, you’re going to be affected. If you like being warm in the winter, you’re going to be affected. If you want to run or work at a small business or farm, you’re going to be affected. If you want to go anywhere, you’re going to be affected. This is going to affect all of us in many negative ways that the Administration and media are overlooking.

Luckily, there is a better way forward. My Republican colleagues and I have offered ‘The American Energy Act,’ which encompasses an all-of-the-above energy plan focused on renewable sources such as wind, solar, hydropower, biomass and greater use of nuclear power, along with developing more oil and natural gas from here in the United States. The Southeast is especially rich in clean energy as 44 percent of the nation’s total energy from woody biomass is found here and local nuclear power supplies half of South Carolina’s electricity.

Unfortunately, both of these clean energy sources are blacklisted under the Democratic proposal, while under the Republican plan, these industries would flourish.

We would be able create new rural energy jobs and improve America’s use of renewable energy – without excessive taxation or sending jobs overseas to countries with inferior environmental standards.

It is time to get off of this runaway energy roller coaster, remove ourselves from the control of foreign and unfriendly energy sources and create American energy for the American people. This is hardly the time to impose a burdensome tax on struggling American families and small businesses in a misdirected attempt to effect environmental change.

I will continue to strongly support The American Energy Act as part of an all of the above energy plan that will provide real solutions for today’s energy issues without increasing taxation and debt for future generations in the process.

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