Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee put their cap and trade global warming bill which will drastically increase U.S. energy prices, including electricity bills, on the fast track Monday. Republicans, meanwhile, are complaining that the expedited process is designed specifically to AVOID public debate about what the bill will do, and what its consequences will be for American consumers. Just like they’ve done with every other piece of sweeping legislation that’s come from The One.

Henry Waxman
(D-Calif.) chairs the committee, and Democrats hope to have a vote on the nearly 1,000 page bill by the end of the week, despite the fact that they only released a draft copy of the bill Friday, after many members of Congress had already left the Capitol. Sound familiar?

Rep. Joe Barton
(R-Texas), the committee’s ranking member, accused the majority of ramming through legislation that neither lawmakers nor their constituents fully understand in an effort to skirt serious debate on the substance of the proposal. Sound familiar?

Barton said:

“The majority’s motto is: Pass it now! Explain it later. With just the barest smidgen of obfuscation, our majority colleagues can rise proudly to the challenge of global warming by moving out smartly, before a suspicious public takes notice and well ahead of any consultation with voters.”

Barton’s comments came after Democrats DIDN’T introduce the bill in the Energy and Environment Subcommittee, where the concerns of industrial state Democrats would have been heard in public. No, no, they stayed true to sneaky form, and Waxman and Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) decided to work behind closed doors instead. Gotta love that “transparency.”

Barton cited a Rasmussen poll from May 11 that showed the public is largely ignorant of what “cap and trade” is. Only 24 percent of voters could correctly identify that cap and trade is an environmental policy. Twenty-nine percent thought it dealt with Wall Street, and 17 percent thought it was health care reform. Thirty percent had no idea what the term means. Holy crap. This ignorance is just as Obama and the Democrats would have it.

Waxman sent out a memo on Sunday, telling members that he wanted the bill out of committee by Thursday, May 21st, allowing only four days to debate a 1,000-page bill. A bill which would mean much higher energy prices and a reduction in income for 80 percent of Americans, according to a May 7th CBO report. Sound familiar?

Here’s what Americans obviously DON’T know, and desperately need to. The bill would require drastic cuts in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century, cutting emissions across the entire economy to 17 percent of 2005 levels by 2050, meaning that the economy would be forced to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 83 percent by 2050.

In a lame “compromise” with industrial-state Democrats, Waxman and Markey agreed to allow the EPA to distribute, instead of auction, emissions caps to energy-intensive industries. Here’s how they want the game to work: Electricity producers would be given 35 percent of the caps, natural gas companies would get nine percent, five percent would go toward combating international deforestation, and 10 percent would go toward the states. The remaining 15% will be auctioned.

Barton argues that the environmental benefit will be minimal while the economic damage could be massive. The GOP has an alternative plan that would both clean the environment and grow the economy. Barton on the Dem’s plan:

“We know the cost is significant. We know the environmental benefit is basically nonexistent. The Republicans are going to have a number of amendments. We’re going to have a complete substitute that we released Thursday that I’ll offer at the appropriate time. Our substitute does not have cap and trade in it. Our substitute does have a renewable, clean energy standard. We believe that if enough members of the majority will join us, we will offer an amendment that could pass, wouldn’t wreck the economy, would have some economic benefits and wouldn’t do any environmental harm.”

You know the drill. Contact your representatives and tell them to say NO to cap and trade, which will significantly increase the cost of EVERYTHING. If your Reps are Democrats who are complicit in the plans to limit debate, SPANK THEM and give ’em a piece of your mind. This is an incredibly boneheaded idea that will be disastrous for the economy. Just ask Spain.

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