Senator: Dems’ ‘Energy Tax’ Would Bankrupt Poor While INCREASING CO2 Emissions

Craig Bannister
By Craig Bannister | September 14, 2012 | 1:29 PM EDT

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, explains how passing Democrat-backed cap-and-trade (“energy tax”) legislation would devastate the poorest Americans – and even increase CO2 emissions.

In an exclusive interview with “The Right Views,” Sen. Inhofe said that leaders in the Obama administration even concede that passing a bill to regulate and tax carbon emissions would:

  1. Cost taxpayers $300-400 billion a year,
  2. Cause energy prices to skyrocket, and
  3. Do nothing to reduce CO2 levels worldwide.

While Democrats claim that “climate change may disproportionately affect the poor,” low-income Americans would be most hurt by cap-and-trade legislation, Sen. Inhofe says.

Skyrocketing energy prices caused by the legislation would force poor Americans to spend an overwhelming portion of their incomes on energy, leaving little for things like food, shelter, and health care. Meanwhile, the wealthy might spend only one or two percent of income on energy, Sen. Inhofe says.

A transcript of Sen. Inhofe’s interview with “The Right Views” is below.

Sen. James Inhofe: “You know, one of the things that is not even questioned - I’ve never heard anyone in all the debates I’ve done on this subject - no one has ever questioned the figure, the range of costs that has been used ever since 2003 for cap and trade, whether legislatively or by regulation, is between $300 and $400 billion dollars a year.

“And you know, Craig, I have to admit my head spins with big numbers and I’m sure the general public is that way, so what I do in Oklahoma - and I’ve been doing it for years - every year I keep track of the number of families who file a federal tax return in my state of Oklahoma, then I do the math. In this case, it would cost the average Oklahoman family who files a tax return a little bit over $3,000 dollars a year.

“Now, a lot of people that you’ll come into contact with, and read a lot of the stuff that you do and listen to you and me too, are people who disagree with us on this. And they think, you know, what a horrible thing it is to deny that catastrophic global warming is taking place, and it’s due to anthropogenic gasses.

“On the other hand, let’s keep in mind that Lisa Jackson, and this of course is the Director of the Environmental Protection Agency, chosen by Obama, when asked the question- because I asked her live on TV- if we were to pass - and it didn’t make any difference which bill, it could have been the McCain-Lieberman bill, or the Waxman-Markey bill, or any of the rest of them- would this have the result of reducing CO2 emissions worldwide? And she said, ‘No, it wouldn’t.’ Because the problem isn’t here, the problem is in China, it’s in Mexico, it’s in India and other places.

“Now, carrying that to its logical conclusion, if we were to have and cap and trade in the United State of America, it would have the affect of increasing CO2 emissions, not decreasing it, because of our manufacturers would have to go where they can generate energy. And that would be to places that don’t have any emission restrictions at all.”

“Right Views” Editor Craig Bannister: “Regarding the Democrat platform, I wanted to get your reaction to this one quote. It says, ‘We understand that global climate change may disproportionately affect the poor, and we are committed to environmental justice.’ Now, that sounds foreboding to me.”

Inhofe: “Well, they see that it’s just the opposite. If you are - if they’re successful in cap and trade - that will, by their own admission, make the cost of energy skyrocket.

“Now, you stop and think of the percentage of income of the very poor that go toward energy - that’s something they have to have. But the percentage of what goes to energy by wealthy people, you know, might be 1 or 2 percent.

“But it could very well be 90 percent for poor people. So it’s just the opposite of what they’re saying. If they’re successful in passing the huge energy tax that would be called ‘cap and trade,’ that would disproportionately hurt the very poor.

“I think they are doing this - one of the techniques that has worked in the past is to take a lie and say it over and over again to offset the truth on the other side. Well, their energy tax called ‘cap and trade’ would disproportionately hurt the poor, so they come out and say that just the reverse is true.”

Bannister: “So they’re not advocating redistributing weather.”

Inhofe: “No, just the wealth. Good point, Craig.”

Editor’s Note: In a previous interview with “The Right Views,” Sen. Inhofe described emissions regulation as an effort by Pres. Obama “to pull off the largest wealth redistribution in history.”

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