Tags: mike | pence | cap | and | trade

Pence: 'Cap-and-Trade' Prescription for Economic Decline

By Jim Meyers   |   Tuesday, 05 May 2009 11:55 AM

Indiana Republican Rep. Mike Pence tells Newsmax that the Democrats’ “cap-and-trade” plan to reduce carbon emissions is a “prescription for economic decline.”

Pence, chairman of the House Republican Conference, also said he hopes bipartisan “common sense” will prevail and defeat the plan — and called recently deceased former Congressman Jack Kemp “my hero.”

See Video: Indiana Rep. Mike Pence discusses Obama’s costly cap-and-trade energy plans - Click Here Now

Newsmax.TV’s Ashley Martella noted that Rep. Pence has been in the front line in the fight against the cap-and-trade plan, and asked why he has called the proposal “a declaration of economic war on the Midwest.”

“Indiana would be one of the states hardest hit by the Democrats’ so-called cap-and-trade legislation, focusing as it does on coal-burning power plants that predominate across the Midwest,” Pence responded.

“Not only will the cap and trade bill result in higher utility rates for all Americans, but that burden will fall most harshly on states across the Midwest like Indiana.

“We’ve been trying to be very candid with people about that and help people count the cost of this global warming legislation, and the real impact that it will have on our beleaguered economies in the heartland of this nation.”

Martella asked why Pence said people on the East and West Coasts would be the least impacted by cap and trade when an independent study concluded that every American would have to pay more than $3,000 a year in additional energy costs.

The estimate of $3,128 per household was derived from a study that determined the amount of revenue the federal government would generate from the cap-and trade-legislation, Pence explained. Republicans then divided that number by the number of households.

“The truth is, that’s an average,” he added. “The reality is that states like Indiana, where we get more than 90 percent of our energy from fossil fuels, that states across the Midwest would bear a much harsher burden than states in the Northeast or along the West Coast.”

Pence cited remarks Barack Obama made in an interview when he was campaigning for president.

“At that time he said, quote, ‘Under my plan of cap and trade, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.’”

Martella asked if Republicans would try to team up with moderate Democrats to derail the cap-and-trade plan.

“You bet. Our hope is that common sense when it comes to environmental legislation will be a bipartisan condition on Capitol Hill this year,” the congressman said.

“I think there’s a strong possibility we can stop this legislation and replace it with an energy strategy the centerpiece of which would be a return to the construction of nuclear power plants — but above all an energy strategy that would send us in the direction of an environmentally responsible pathway to energy independence.”

Is the effort to open up more areas to offshore drilling now dead in the water? Martella asked.

“It’s only dead in the water among Democrats on Capitol Hill. The American people want more access to American oil,” Pence declared.

“The Republicans are going to come forward with a comprehensive energy alternative that will include more domestic exploration for oil and natural gas. It will include a commitment to nuclear power and new nuclear power plants. It will include a commitment to renewables, to wind and solar. And ultimately we believe that strategy will be welcomed and hailed by the American people.”

As chairman of the House GOP American Energy Solutions Group, Pence said he and his colleagues will seek to meet with officials and ordinary citizens “who know that this-cap-and-trade legislation is the wrong approach and would be a prescription for economic decline for the average American, as well as the average American employer.”

Pence was close to the late Jack Kemp, a nine-term congressman and former Housing Secretary. Martella asked what made Kemp so special in Pence’s eyes.

“As someone who has followed Jack Kemp into the role of House Republican Conference Chairman, I can tell you one of the great privileges of my nearly nine years in Congress was that Jack Kemp, my hero, became my personal friend and mentor, and I will miss him very dearly,” Pence said.

“I have from time to time referred to myself as a Jack Kemp Republican. That’s because I see his optimism, his belief in free markets, entrepreneurial capitalism, his belief in equality of opportunity, and his commitment to traditional moral values to be very much in the mainstream of the values that carried our party to the White House in 1980 and carried our party to a majority in 1994.

“And as our party goes looking for a way forward, I believe we need look no further than the integrity, the optimism and the American idealism of Jack Kemp.”

See Video: Indiana Rep. Mike Pence discusses Obama’s costly cap-and-trade energy plans - Click Here Now

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