Could We Be Looking at the Biggest Tax Hike In History?

By Myron EbellDirector of Energy and Global Warming Policy, Competitive Enterprise Institute

In an effort to push through a massive energy rationing bill, Congressional Democrats are holding hearingstoday and for the rest of the week on a plan sponsored by Representatives Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.). Al Gore is scheduled to testify, among others.

Ostensibly aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the Waxman-Markey "American Clean Energy and Security Act" is, in reality, a plan designed to profit big business special interests by raising energy prices on consumers.

The carbon cap-and-trade program in the bill is an indirect tax. It would force energy users to buy phony, government-fabricated "carbon credits", which are in reality ration coupons. Rationing would raise energy prices and thereby force consumers to use less energy. At the same time, it would expand government control over energy use and benefit companies that want to sell politically-favored fuels.

If enacted, Waxman-Markey would be the biggest tax increase in history and the biggest government intervention in the economy and in people's lives since the second World War, which was the last time Americans had to present ration coupons in order to buy things like gas, milk, and butter.

Raising energy prices will make people poorer and drive jobs in energy-intensive industries overseas.

Myron Ebell is Director of Energy and Global Warming Policy for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free market think tank based in Washington, D.C. Mr. Ebell testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday. To read Mr. Ebell's testimony and on-going commentary on the Waxman-Markey energy rationing bill, visit globalwarming.org