The Times Journal & Russell County News
Wednesday, Jul. 23, 2014 — RUSSELL SPRINGS & JAMESTOWN, KENTUCKY —
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In My Opinion ... by Ron Phillips
In July 11 Issue
Russell County News

To lead or follow? I use to work for a guy that loved to say, “Unless you’re the head dog, the view never changes”. That’s true, but I also believe that a good leader also knows when to follow and must be willing to listen. Today, we have leaders that have been duly elected by the people, but are not willing to listen to the very people that put them in office. Many think that President Obama truly believes that he looking out for the best interests of the people, but I do not! The most recent passing of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 also referred to as “Climate Change” and “cap and trade” legislation in the House of Representatives is the best example I can give to support my skepticism. This 1,200 page bill was pushed through the house on Friday evening, June 26th and had 300 pages of amendments added to it at 3 am on the morning of the 27th. It passed 219-212.

I am happy to report that 44 Democrats and 168 Republicans voted against this bill including our very own Congressman Ed Whitfield, who strongly opposed the final bill. Here is in part, a letter that I received from the Congressman on July 3rd…

As a Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, which maintains jurisdiction over this issue, my Committee recently rigorously reviewed this bill. I offered and supported several amendments and ultimately opposed final passage of the bill from the Committee and before the full House of Representatives on June 26th. Since this bill passed the House by a vote of 219-212, you may also wish to contact Senators McConnell and Bunning with your views on this topic. I would like to take this opportunity to explain my position. If you would like access to my floor speech on this topic, you may find it on my youtube page at 1.

Like so many Americans, I believe we need to ensure that the practices we use here in America to produce electricity are clean, affordable, and efficient. I also believe that the policies we pass in Congress must also further those goals. Unfortunately, the Climate Change legislation that the House recently considered did not meet any of those goals, in my opinion. For example, the legislation would increase the costs of electricity by some estimates by as much as $4,377 per household per year and would result in 3 million lost jobs. This increased cost would result in jobs moving overseas, electricity becoming less affordable, and higher carbon output in other countries, such as China and India. To that end, the result of this bill is that it would do nothing to make electricity cleaner globally nor will it be affordable for Americans.

As many people already know, this bill would establish a cap-and-trade program, which would place a "cap" or limit on carbon dioxide emissions. Existing power plants would be granted a certain number of emission credits to cover their carbon output, but would be required to purchase or trade credits with other companies that have excess credits should they go over the limit. During Committee consideration of the legislation, I offered an amendment that would have set a cap of $ 15 per carbon emission allocation, with the money collected being used to fund additional technology research and deployment of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). This would limit economic uncertainty and protect consumers from having to pay the price for unattainable emission standards, while also helping to advance technology to capture carbon emissions. Unfortunately, my amendment failed to pass.

Because coal continues to be the most economical way to produce electricity, we must make certain the policies that are implemented do not unnecessarily disadvantage coal and drive up electricity costs significantly. In Kentucky, we generate 92 percent of our electricity from coal. Under a proposed cap and trade system, it is estimated that electric bills in the Commonwealth would increase anywhere from 26 to 65 percent. Electric bills for businesses would also jump, driving up costs for all goods and services. During tough economic times, Americans simply cannot afford this. The reality is, implementing a cap and trade program before Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies are available would have a devastating impact on the U.S. economy.

All of us - Democrats, Republicans, and Independents - are committed to protecting our planet for the well being of future generations. It is essential that as we work to produce cleaner energy, we must balance the need for cleaner fuel sources against the need for protecting jobs in the U.S. and keeping our country competitive in the global market place.

Please know that as this legislation moves forward in Congress, I will continue my efforts to ensure that consumers are protected, our environment is made cleaner, and that Kentucky coal continues to play a role in our nation's energy portfolio. I do not anticipate that the Senate will pass legislation exactly like the version the House passed so there may be more opportunities to scale back the harmful impact of this legislation.

Representing the First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives is truly an honor. I recognize that my voice is only here in Washington to represent my constituents. For this reason, your thoughts and opinions are of critical importance. I sincerely appreciate your comments and look forward to hearing from you in the future.


Ed Whitfield Member of Congress

Folks, it is almost impossible for me to express to you how important it is for our Senate to kill this bill. President Obama knows exactly what this bill will do to the American people.

While campaigning for president, Mr. Obama said: “You know, when I was asked earlier about the issue of coal, uh, you know under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”

Why, in the middle of a global economic crisis, would we even consider passing a bill that the Wall Street Journal says would be "the biggest tax in American history"? It has been reported that the European Union's cap-and-trade program (that started in 2005) says it all: "Their plan unleashed a lobbying free-for-all that led politicians to dole out favors to various industries, undermining the environmental goals. Four years later, it is becoming clear that system has so far produced little noticeable benefit to the climate, but generated a multi-billion dollar windfall for some of the continent's biggest polluters."

One might ask how these things are happening under our very noses. It’s simple, Michael Jackson died. Glenn Beck reported in part on June 26th just who stands to gain the most by pushing this energy bill through…

“Nancy Pelosi has $50,000 to $100,000 in Clean Energy Fuels Corp. Rep. Edward Markey hmm, why does that name sound familiar? has investments between $51,000 and $115,000 in the Firsthand Technology Value Fund (which as three solar-energy manufacturers) (Note: this bill is also referred to as the Waxman-Markey climate change bill). Al Gore Mr. "Inconvenient Truth" himself his venture capital firm is heavily invested in a new software company that's making software to help companies track their carbon footprint.

He, and companies like his, will make a fortune. Not only will this bill make politicians rich, it will increase their power as well. The government will control what you can and cannot do.” He went on to say… “This bill is a gateway; it will be used as justification to regulate every industry or product the government can get their grimy little fingers on.

Politicians get rich. Government gets more power and control. Businesses just pass on the cost so there is only one loser: you, the consumer. The worst part is we aren't breaking new ground here. While we're busy marching towards more socialism, the rest of the world is running away from it because they've tried it. Australia is killing their carbon tax proposals and it's already a complete failure in Spain, where it's resulted in an 18.1 percent unemployment rate (more than double Europe's average) and they are losing 2.2 jobs per every one "green job" created.”

It is “My Opinion” that our wonderful and free way of life, especially here in Kentucky will be forever be lost if this “Cap & Trade” or more appropriately “Cap & Tax” bill is allowed to pass. Please contact Senators McConnell and Bunning and express your concerns on this matter. By the way, Michael Jackson is still dead! May he rest in peace? It’s time to move on and focus on the direction that our leaders are taking us!

May God bless…

Ron Phillips

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