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Press Release

Citizen Group Warns Kerry-Lieberman Climate Bill Hurts Consumers and Businesses Alike

May 14, 2010

Further Information, Contact: 
Pete Sepp or Rachael Slobodien at 
(703) 683-5700

     (Alexandria, VA) — Shortly after Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) unveiled their long-awaited cap-and-trade emissions control and regulation bill, Pete Sepp, Executive Vice President of the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU) offered the following statement:

     If truth in advertising laws had to apply to legislation, the 'American Power Act' that Senators Kerry and Lieberman introduced would be renamed the 'American Economic Power-Loss Act.' No matter how many times Sen. Kerry attempts to re-package his fundamentally flawed national energy tax legislation, he will not succeed in convincing the American people they're getting something that won't dramatically increase energy costs and make their daily lives worse.

     Like the other cap-and-trade bills, the 'American Power Act' gives the government the authority to regulate the private sector even further and to pick winners and losers in the marketplace by distributing subsidies to politically favored sectors. NTU has long cautioned against this ploy, and has instead encouraged reforms that enable the private sector to cultivate environmentally sustainable energy solutions that are economically productive as well. This includes everything from lower taxes on business innovation, to more efficient air traffic control, to managing truck traffic better by allowing them to carry loads in line with weights allowed in other countries.

     The Kerry-Lieberman Plan has been consciously designed to appear as if it's making concessions that will silence criticism from certain business sectors who voiced concerns about provisions of the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill that passed the House. Unfortunately, those concerns have not been meaningfully addressed, and all Americans interested in our future prosperity should remain opposed to cap-and-trade. Both bills set economically punitive emissions targets, give away tens of billions in politically targeted subsidies, expand government control over energy production, and put the United States at a competitive disadvantage with emerging countries abroad.

     The latest attempt to re-package this national energy tax bill is similar to the way your grandmother gives you the same pair of ugly, ill-fitting socks each year: even though she may change the wrapping paper, no matter how many times you open the package you see the same disappointing thing. With the American Power Act, the 'same disappointing thing' is a plan to shrink our standards of living and grow government. NTU encourages the Senate to start over and create policies that are not only pro-consumer, but more importantly, pro-taxpayer.

NTU is a nonpartisan, nonprofit citizen organization founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller government, and economic freedom at all levels. Note: additional analyses and commentaries on energy and climate policy are available at or text the word "FIGHT" to 67292.