I received an email from Rep. Peter Welch (D, VT) in response to a call I made to his office to vote against the Waxman-Markey bill (HR 2454), also known as the Cap & Trade bill.  I appreciate the fact that he (via his staff, most likely) took the time to respond to my phone call.  If nothing else, it acknowledges the receipt of the call.
That being said, here is the letter (with my thoughts in blue):
June 29, 2009Dear Mr. Whitman,

Thank you for contacting me about the American Clean Energy and Security Act, H.R. 2454.  I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.  (You’re welcome.)

As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee I am playing an active role in charting a new energy future for our country that will strengthen our economy (since when is it your job, or Congress’ job, to chart an energy future?), create new green jobs (how can you, a public official with no access to resources other than the tax revenue of American citizens, create green jobs let alone jobs at all?), and protect working Vermonters and Americans (I am glad that you are interested in protecting Vermonters and Americans, but I think fighting terrorists (al Queda, Hamas), rogue nations (North Korean, Iran) and criminals (Bernie Madoff) should be of higher concern than fighting carbon emissions).  I share your concern that Congress address climate change in a way that ensures that consumers and businesses are not unfairly burdened by measures to control carbon pollution.  (You assume that I want to address “climate change”.  Last I knew the climate has been changing for thousands of years, and I am not particularly interested in trying to assert human will on the climate.)

I voted for H.R. 2454 that sets the goal of cutting carbon emissions 80 percent by the year 2050.  (This strikes me as though we are tilting at windwills – literally as well as figuratively.  Humans exhale carbon dioxide.  Are we going to protect Americans by eliminating another countries population in order to cut on carbon emissions from humans?) Through H.R. 2454, the cost to consumers of transitioning to a prosperous, clean energy economy will be offset by assistance to local utility companies (assistance that comes from taxes), investment in energy efficiency (with money that comes from taxes), and by direct consumer assistance (with money that comes from taxes).  In addition, H.R. 2454 will reinvest American energy dollars currently exported overseas in American jobs and businesses (I am not fooled by the rhetoric that we lose jobs in America when jobs are created overseas – this is another tax).  A recent Congressional Budget Offices analysis of the legislation determined that the overall cost to households will be less than the cost of a postage stamp a day, which does not include the projected financial benefits from increased energy efficiency, national security and green job creation.  (This is a ridiculously impossible analysis. I haven’t had the time to investigate the 300 page amendment added to the bill at 3am the day of the vote, but all of the regulation that it adds will cost consumers more money than 44 cents a day.  Energy efficiency is an excellent goal, but it isn’t efficient to force it on the market when the technology and the demand is not yet there.  Of course, the definition of economics includes efficiency and those who are more efficient succeed.  That we haven’t acheived “energy efficiency” is not a mystery, unless you are talking about the controversial claims of the human impact on “climate change”.  In which case, many questions have been satisfactorily answered.  You also assert that this is a national security matter and I fail to follow the logic.   I don’t recall North Korea having any strategic value to the energy sector of our economy.  They want to “wipe out” the U.S.  You also touch on the green jobs thing again and once more I fail to see how the US Government can create jobs without other peoples money.)

Again, I greatly appreciate hearing the ideas and concerns from Vermonters as Congress continues to debate the most effective approach to address this challenge.  Please continue to be in touch and I hope to see you in Vermont soon.  (I will make the effort.  And I will be working to find your replacement in the meantime.)

Member of Congress



So, the new title I’m suggesting for this bill would be “Capped, now Trade”.  Voting out every member of congress who voted for this bill would be an excellent place to start cutting the carbon emissions coming from Washington DC.