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Congressman Ben Chandler showed his true colors recently by voting for a massive special interests pork bill. The “cap-and-trade” bill barely passed the U.S. House (most of the moderate and conservative Democrats voted against it, along with nearly all the Republicans), and, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), will cost the average Kentucky family nearly $200 more each year on their energy bills.
Even their estimate, though, doesn’t take into account many factors that will likely make the cost of this legislation much, much higher for consumers. Every good you buy requires energy to produce and move. When energy prices go up, the price of goods go up. You won’t just see the effects of Congressman Chandler’s poor choice in your energy bill; you will see it every time you go to the store and buy anything, anywhere.
That’s right – Congressman Chandler had no problem voting for what will likely become the largest tax increase in American history, and he did so at the behest of extremely liberal special interests.
Beyond just the cost to each and every Kentucky family, there will be a cost to rationing energy in our overall economy. The CBO notes that the bill could decrease our Gross Domestic Product (um, aren’t we in a recession?) and companies that are forced to deal with these higher energy costs will simply move their operations overseas to avoid this massive increase in the cost of doing business.
Congressman Chandler just voted to shrink our economy and destroy American jobs. One estimate puts job losses at 800,000 by 2015; 1.9 million by 2020, and 3.2 million by 2025. If today’s monthly job loss reports aren’t bad enough for you, just wait – Congressman Chandler’s vote would ensure decades of job losses for those who can’t get enough economic bad news.
A stated goal of the legislation is to make American energy independent. That’s a great goal, except this legislation does the opposite. An analysis by the Coalition for Affordable American Energy predicts that America will experience a decrease in oil production and refining as a result of this legislation.
It will cost more for American refiners to do business, and they will be at a competitive disadvantage against foreign refiners that don’t face the same regulations and taxes. Guess where the cheaper energy will be made? It won’t be in the United States.
There are so many reasons not to like this bill, and certainly many Democrats in Congress didn’t like it and voted against it. So why was Ben Chandler, a self-proclaimed moderate Democrat from a conservative district in a coal-producing state, voting for a miserably flawed scheme, being pushed by the ultra-liberal, radical environmental lobby?
It’s simple – he has either lost touch with his constituents or has come to believe what many members of Congress unfortunately believe: they are simply never going to face a credible challenge in the next election and therefore can vote however the special interests see fit instead of what is in the best interests of their constituents.
It’s a sad state of affairs when a Congressman from Kentucky makes the leap from representing his district to representing California’s most liberal environmental groups.
But it has happened, right here in the Bluegrass.
State Representative Mike Harmon
633 N.3rd Street
Danville, KY 40422