The Waxman-Markey Cap and Trade bill passed by a narrow margin tonight, 219 to 212, with 8 Republicans supporting and 44 Democrats voting against– hardly overwhelming support. So, one of the largest tax revenue-generating bills in history passed the House of Representatives on a 7 point margin in a 435-seat chamber. A 1,200 page bill that policymakers rushed through the House (how many Members do you think read the entire bill?) that will drive up energy prices for years to come passed by just seven votes. And it took a lot of meetings and promises behind closed doors to get that seven-vote cushion.
The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis found that by 2035, gasoline prices would increase 58 percent, natural gas prices would increase 55 percent, home heating oil would increase 56 percent, and worst of all, electricity prices would jump 90 percent.
But the direct tax on household energy use is just the beginning. The energy tax also hits producers. As the higher production costs ripple through the economy, the household pocketbooks get hit again and again. When all the tax impacts have been added up, the average per-family-of-four costs rise by $2,979 per year. In the year 2035 alone, the cost is $4,609. And the costs per family for the whole energy tax aggregated from 2012 to 2035 are $71,493.
Keep in mind, this is all for a change in the global temperature we most likely won’t even notice.
So, it’s off to the Senate we go. The good news is this extremely close margin will add extra pressure on the Senate should they decide to take up the bill.
Addendum: Vote breakdown is here.