House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, forcefully rejected any prospect for compromise on a Democratic proposal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions through a cap and trade system.
Boehner, speaking to reporters on Thursday, said the proposal authored by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, would amount to a massive tax on Americans and businesses.
This proposal is going to cost the average family $3,100 per year, Boehner said. In Ohio, our electricity rates go up at least 50 percent the day this bill passes. . It could go as high as a 100 percent increase because a lot of electricity generated in Ohio comes from burning coal.
He added, If you drive a car, you're going to pay higher taxes as well. It's not just about the cost. Think of the millions of American jobs that are dependent on a lot of energy use. The products they make today will be a lot cheaper coming from China, India, South Korea, countries that don't have this onerous tax.
Boehner noted that a steel plant in his home district could be put out of business by the Democratic proposal.
When you make steel, you release carbon dioxide into the air, he said. This national energy tax will put them out of business. That's 2,800 people in my district that will lose their jobs because the steel they make will cost too much for American auto manufacturers.
Asked by reporters if there was room to work with Democrats to moderate the effects of the proposal, Boehner initially reacted sarcastically.
Oh, yeah. I'm only for losing 1 million jobs, he said, before adding forcefully, No, there's no compromise! In the middle of a recession you can't throw a wet blanket on a weak economy, you'll smother it.
He added, That's what this proposal will do.
However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaking at a separate news conference, said that the final version of the energy proposal would not place an undue burden on consumers and businesses.
I am very pleased with the principles they have set forth, Pelosi said of the proposal. We cannot go forward with something if it's going to put an undue burden on our rate payers. . I will work to see that what we do does not increase the burden on our rate payers and has mitigation for business so we can be competitive.
She added, It isn't fair to say we have to live by a certain standard, other countries don't. If their cost of production is less, we're less competitive. Whatever legislation we have will have to mitigate for that.
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