The Republicans for Environmental Protection, conservatives who believe in conservation, are continuing their criticism of their own party for demonizing cap-and-trade legislation as an “energy tax”. In a post at NewMajority.com, REP’s Jim DePeso describes cap and trade legislation as taking as “the fundamental step of putting a price on carbon dioxide emissions,” and hits “party leaders” for “attacking efforts to address climate change”:
Fighting for lower taxes has always been a bread and butter issue for Republicans — and a good thing given the Democrats’ propensity toward raising them and “spreading the wealth.” However, Republican tax rhetoric veered in a perilous new direction recently when party leaders began attacking efforts to address climate change as an “energy tax” on American families and businesses.
Some form of mandatory regulation of global warming pollution is necessary for the continued survival of human civilization. That regulation could come in a variety of forms — the outlawing of coal plants and nationalization of energy companies, a punitively expensive tax on carbon pollution, or a balanced set of standards and mandates that create new markets. The latter is the policy approach being taken by Democratic leaders in Washington as well as Democrats and Republicans in states across the country. However, national Republican leaders are not only demonizing limits on carbon pollution, they are denying the existence of the threat:
By framing the costs associated with reducing greenhouse gas emissions and lowering America’s dangerous dependence on oil as a tax, Republicans are boxing themselves firmly into the corner of climate change skeptics and forgoing any role in — or credit for — solving the problem.
DiPeso concludes that GOP officials like House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) should “rally behind” conservative climate proposals instead of “distorting a Massachusetts Institute of Technology study of cap-and-trade proposals”:
Instead of using loaded language and phony data to poison the climate debate, both the party and the nation would be far better served if GOP leaders would rally behind those in the party who have their own plans for addressing climate change — and let them work constructively to help craft balanced legislation that does not, as Democrats are prone to do on their own, needlessly expand the federal bureaucracy.
That approach would actually make sense to the vast majority of Americans who believe that we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The current one does nothing to earn the confidence of voters, and runs a real risk of landing our party on the wrong side of history.
Read DiPeso’s full post, “It’s a Price, Not a Tax,” at NewMajority.com.