Release Date: Jun 26, 2009Contact: 888-249-NEWS
U.S. Chamber Calls House Climate Change Bill Wrong Approach to Slowing Emissions
Wrong Approach to Slowing Emissions
Says Congress has "Fallen Short"
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today expressed opposition to climate change legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, cautioning that it is an unrealistic approach that could further harm the economy and shed American jobs.
"The last thing this country needs is fourteen hundred new job-killing regulations and mandates," said the Chamber's Senior Vice President of Environment, Technology and Regulatory Affairs William Kovacs. "The Chamber hopes, at some point, that Congress will find a way to balance the need for a strong U.S. economy while still addressing global climate change. Unfortunately, Congress has fallen short with this bill."
"The American public deserves a robust, transparent debate on this legislation, which will raise fuel and electricity costs and have a negative impact on every family's budget," said Karen Harbert, President and CEO of the Chamber's Institute for 21st Century Energy. "Re-writing legislation in the middle of the night and then forcing a vote on it the next day is certainly not the right way to tackle this complicated issue."
The "American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009" (H.R. 2454), a 1,200-page behemoth consisting of a cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gas emissions, a federal renewable electricity mandate, and a suite of new mandatory energy efficiency standards, will impose 397 new federal regulations (which require traditional federal agency rulemakings) and 1060 new mandates on an American public already overwhelmed by extensive federal regulation. A chart of the bill's regulations and mandates can be found at: http://www.uschamber.com/media/pdfs/waxmanmarkey.pdf.
"Despite the good intentions of this bill's drafters to transition the U.S. to a 'clean, green economy,' H.R. 2454 still suffers from a large number of flaws," continued Kovacs. "It fails to ensure that enough renewable or alternative energy sources, which include not only wind and solar but also nuclear and coal with carbon capture and sequestration, will be brought online to compensate for the fossil energy that will be de-selected by the bill's aggressive caps. The Chamber's website, http://www.projectnoproject.com/, shows that it's just as hard to get a permit to build a renewable energy facility as it is to build a fossil fuel-fired power plant."
"There is a tremendous opportunity for America to enact sound energy policy that will promote economic growth and help transition to a low carbon future," Harbert said. "Unfortunately, the legislation considered by the House misses the mark. Instead, the bill passed by the House mandates a complicated regulatory scheme that has failed in Europe and will result in fewer jobs, higher prices for consumers, and will place the U.S. at a competitive disadvantage internationally," she continued.
The National Black Chamber of Commerce estimates that the bill could result in annual drops in gross domestic product (GDP) of $170 billion in 2015, $350 billion in 2030, and $730 billion in 2050, and a net jobs loss of 2.3 million to 3 million—a figure that includes all the "green" jobs created. The Chamber this week wrote all members of the House expressing concern over the bill and suggested ways that the bill could be modified. The Chamber's letter is available at: http://www.uschamber.com/issues/letters/2009/090624_cleanenergy.htm.
The U.S. Chamber is the world's largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.