Today, the House will vote on the Energy Tax Prevention Act (H.R. 910), legislation introduced by House Energy & Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Energy & Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), that will prevent the EPA from imposing a job-crushing backdoor national energy tax that will drive up gasoline prices and destroy American jobs.  The Energy Tax Prevention Act fulfills the new House majority’s Pledge to America “to oppose attempts to impose a national ‘cap and trade’ energy tax.”  This bill is also a central pillar of the American Energy Initiative – an ongoing effort to stop Washington policies that are driving up gas prices and expand American energy production to help lower costs and create jobs. In a recent Kalamazoo Gazette op-ed, Chairman Upton underscored the urgent need to pass the Energy Tax Prevention Act to stop the Obama Administration from driving gas prices up even further: 

“Unless Congress intervenes, EPA’s efforts to impose a cap-and-trade agenda threaten to drive gas prices even higher, increase utility rates, send manufacturing jobs overseas, and hamstring our economic recovery. Any further constraints on our domestic energy capacity or self-imposed increases on the costs of production will drive prices at the pump even higher. …  

“Because EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations are designed to achieve similar goals as cap-and-trade legislation, and because such regulations would directly impact domestic refineries and production, the regulations are similarly expected to drive up the price of gasoline. In fact, per EPA itself, it is highly likely that regulations will be even more costly than cap-and-trade legislation.

“In an effort to protect jobs and keep energy prices from rising even higher, I recently joined leading House Democrats in introducing the Energy Tax Prevention Act.  This bipartisan legislation, which passed my committee 34-19, would prevent EPA from regulating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in an effort to address climate change, thereby upholding Congress’s original intent under the Clean Air Act while protecting jobs and keeping costs lower for households and employers. 

“Unfortunately, there are some who will support EPA’s regulations no matter how many jobs will be lost or how high gas and energy prices will go. ...

“As we focus on creating jobs and revitalizing Michigan’s economy, we cannot afford to hand over the keys to recovery to an unchecked federal agency.  Our families and job creators deserve better.”

The Obama Administration – ever the champion of more job-crushing regulations – has already threatened to veto the measure ahead of today’s vote, proving once again that the Democrats who run Washington are not listening to American families and small businesses that, according to recent surveys, are feeling “big pains” from skyrocketing gas prices:

  • According to PNC Financial Services Group’s spring survey of small and medium-sized firms, “nearly 80 percent [of businesses] say that a sustained rise in energy prices would hurt their business.” (The Columbus Dispatch, 4/3/11)
  • The most recent Associated Press/GfK survey found that 77 percent of Americans say gas prices are either very or extremely important to them, and two-thirds of Americans expect rising gas prices to cause them “financial hardship” in the next six months. (The Associated Press, 3/30/11)
  • According to a recently released CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, 64 percent of Americans are already experiencing “financial hardship” stemming from higher gas prices. (CNN, 3/18/11)

The new House majority is listening to Americans and will continue working to address rising gas prices with the American Energy Initiative.  Stopping the EPA’s job-crushing national energy tax is an important step, but it is only a beginning.  House Natural Resources Committee leaders have already introduced a series of bills that will help rein in gas prices, boost U.S. production and create jobs by rolling back the Obama Administration’s de facto moratorium on domestic energy production.  The new House majority will be moving forward on these, and other pieces of legislation, in the coming weeks.  Learn more and follow our progress at http://facebook.com/americanenergy.