Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Will Larry Kissell Raise Energy Costs on North Carolinians During Hard Times?

The NRCC put out a press release this afternoon asking if Larry Kissell will raise energy costs for struggling North Carolinians just when they can afford it the least. It's a good question and one that Rep. Kissell should answer for his constituents in the Eighth District.

Will Larry Kissell Support Devastating Energy Tax?
North Carolina Families Would Suffer from Skyrocketing Home Heating Costs Under “Cap-and-Tax”

Despite Democrats’ promises to deliver tax relief to families who need it the most, the recent budget proposal from the White House includes a “cap-and-trade” provision that should more appropriately be named the “cap-and-tax” provision, because if it became law it would raise energy taxes on every single person who flips on a light switch. As Congress takes the President’s federal budget under consideration, North Carolina families deserve to know if Rep. Larry Kissell (D-NC) would support such a devastating energy tax proposal.

The cap-and-tax proposal made by President Obama would drastically increase electricity rates for every American, causing additional hardships for already struggling North Carolina families. A new analysis shows that electricity rates could rise by as much as $6.4 billion per year, costing a North Carolina family of four approximately an additional $2,797 per year.

NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain asks, “Will Larry Kissell put partisan allegiances ahead of struggling workers and support a fiscally irresponsible cap-and-tax proposal that will increase energy bills, raise taxes and overwhelm the budgets of American families? The last thing that American families need to worry about right now is whether they will be able to cool their homes this summer or keep their families warm next winter.”

Families in North Carolina would be even more drastically affected, as so many families’ homes are heated with expensive fuels: MIT researchers released an “Assessment of U.S. Cap-and-Trade Proposals,” which shows that the increase would be an increase of more than $3,000 a year for each household. (A Report of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Climate Change; Assessment of U.S. Cap and Trade Proposals; http://web.mit.edu/globalchange/www/MITJPSPGC_Rpt146.pdf.)

What’s more disturbing is that low-income families would take the hardest hit from this “cap-and-tax” proposal: Testimony from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) revealed that, “The rise in prices would impose a larger burden, relative to income, on low-income households than on high-income households for two reasons. First, low-income households spend a much larger fraction of their income than do high-income households. In addition, energy-intensive items compose a greater share of low-income households’ total expenditures.” (CBO Congressional Testimony; The Distributional Consequences of a Cap-and-Trade Program for CO2 Emissions. http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/100xx/doc10018/03-12%20ClimateChange_Testimony.1.1.shtml)

(Source: House Committee on Ways and Means Republican Staff, Analysis of Annual Increase in Electricity Costs, http://list.nrcc.org/t/2191043/10052024/3375/0/,