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Letter


An Open Letter to Congress: Taxes, Regulations, and Subsidies are NOT the Answer for Energy Security!

December 3, 2007

Dear Member of Congress:

On behalf of the 362,000 members of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), I write to reiterate our very serious concerns with energy legislation Congress may soon consider. Specifically, we would oppose the inclusion of any or all of the following provisions:

  • Huge Tax Increases -- The House previously passed $14 billion in vengeful tax hikes on so-called "Big Oil." Though billed as a way to move us toward energy independence, similar taxes in the past have simply reduced domestic oil production and increased oil imports. Congress ought not to repeat those mistakes.
  • Renewable Fuels Standard -- Forcing Americans to consume 36 billion gallons of heavily-subsidized ethanol and other alternative fuels will serve to dramatically raise fuel prices, taxes, and food costs for everyone.
  • Renewable Portfolio Standard -- Requiring that 15 percent of all electricity be produced by alternative sources will likewise raise utility bills, causing harm to those Americans who can least afford the additional expense.
  • Higher Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards -- Though raising CAFE standards may appear productive at first blush, ultimately this policy would have little effect on total fuel consumption while creating vehicles that are more expensive and less safe.
  • Price Gouging Language -- There is no evidence that price gouging has taken place, even after disasters like Hurricane Katrina. Congress ought not to interfere with the delicate balance of energy markets.

Attached to this letter, I've included a copy of a statement we released in October that warned of the ill effects of legislation taking any of the approaches listed above. This open letter to Congress was signed by 234 economists across the country, including a Nobel Laureate. The signatories offered the following conclusion: "By easing regulatory burdens, ending distortions that divert productive capacity, and allowing the price mechanism to do its job, Americans will have far more energy security at a lower cost than any package of taxes, regulations, and subsidies could ever hope to create."

We urge you to keep that advice in mind as you consider energy legislation in the coming weeks. We look forward to working with you to craft a sound energy policy that avoids destructive and unnecessary costs to taxpayers and consumers.

Sincerely,

Andrew Moylan
Government Affairs Manager