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Cap-and-Trade is a Ball-and-Chain for Poor Americans

(Released Aug 2009)

As Congress considered the Waxman-Markey “cap-and-trade” bill, President Obama rallied House Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats at the White House. In making a point, he gestured to Abraham Lincoln’s portrait and said, “He had a chance to affect history. You, too, have a chance to affect history.”

How ironic.

Lincoln is remembered for liberating blacks from slavery. Cap-and-trade legislation supported by Obama, allied lawmakers and now the NAACP would, conversely, enslave all Americans.

Billed as a way to combat global warming, cap-and-trade legislation already passed by the House and now under consideration in the Senate is – at its most basic level – a tax that punishes those who rely on fossil fuels. That unfortunately means virtually every American.

Higher energy costs, higher unemployment and slower economic growth expected from cap-and-trade would reduce living standards, increase dependency and likely chain Americans to government programs.

Back in 2007, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported that “most of the cost of meeting a cap on [carbon dioxide] emissions would be borne by consumers, who would face persistently higher prices for products such as electricity and gasoline… [and] poorer households would bear a larger burden relative to their income than wealthier households would.”

That makes it particularly troubling when the NAACP, at their recent convention, jumped on the cap-and-trade bandwagon. Politicians are expected to be opportunistic, but a group founded to advance blacks should not promote energy policies preferentially harming those with the least.

Harry Alford, head of the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), opposes cap-and-trade. Alford testified before the Senate about this, and made national news when he objected to California Senator Barbara Boxer’s attempt to place a premium on the NAACP’s opinion over the facts presented by the NBCC president.

A NBCC-commissioned study of cap-and-trade by CRA International finds new regulations would:

  • reduce national GDP roughly $350 billon below the baseline level;
  • cut net employment by 2.5 million jobs per year (even with new “green jobs”);
  • reduce earnings for the average U.S. worker by $390 per year.
  • Alford’s not alone. His skepticism is shared by a majority of blacks.

For example, 76 percent of blacks want Congress to make economic recovery – and not climate change – its top priority. This is a finding of a nationwide poll of blacks conducted for the National Center for Public Policy Research by Wilson Research Strategies.

Among other key findings:

  • 38 percent of blacks believe job losses from climate change legislation such as Waxman-Markey would be felt most strongly in the black community. Seven percent believe job losses would fall most on Hispanics and just two percent on whites;
  • 56 percent of blacks believe economic and quality of life concerns of the black community are not considered when addressing climate issues;
  • 52 percent of blacks don’t want to pay more for gasoline or electricity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 73 percent are unwilling to pay more than 50 cents more for a gallon of gas, and 76 percent are unwilling to pay more than $50 more per year for electricity.

Despite NAACP boosterism, it’s clear black America want a stable economy before any risky schemes with questionable environmental results are considered.

A new, punishing energy tax will be an economic burden for those least able to afford it. Coincidentally, these are the individuals Obama claims to want to help most. Additionally, if cap-and-trade passes, it would break Obama’s campaign pledge to not raise taxes on households earning less than $250,000 a year.

As slaves had no representation in early America, black Americans are now finding themselves adrift as the NAACP and President Obama promote cap-and-trade regulation. Emancipation from such regulation, however, is the change all Americans can believe in and benefit from.

Deneen Borelli

Deneen Borelli is the author of Blacklash: How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation. Deneen is a contributor with Newsmax Broadcasting. She is a former Fox News contributor and has appeared regularly on “Hannity,” “Fox & Friends,” “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” and “America’s Newsroom.” She has also appeared on Fox Business Network programs “Making Money with Charles Payne,” “The Evening Edit with Liz MacDonald,” and “Cavuto: Coast to Coast.” Previously, Deneen appeared on MSNBC, CNN, the BBC and C-SPAN. In addition to television, Deneen co-hosted radio programs on the SiriusXM Patriot channel with her husband Tom. Recently, Deneen co-hosted the Reigniting Liberty podcast with Tom. Deneen is a frequent speaker at political events, including the FreedomWorks 9.12.2009 March on D.C. which drew a crowd estimated at over 800,000 people. Deneen is also an Ambassador with, a social media platform that promotes free speech, and with the America First Policy Institute (AFPI) which advances policies that put Americans first. Deneen testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources in May 2011 and before the Ohio House Public Utilities Committee in December 2011. Previously, Deneen was a host, Outreach Director with overseeing its outreach program, a Project 21 Senior Fellow, and Manager of Media Relations with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Prior to joining CORE, Deneen worked at Philip Morris USA for 20 years. During her corporate career at Philip Morris she worked in various positions, her last as Project Management Coordinator in the Information Management department where she was responsible for the department’s mandated quality processes, communications, sales information and database management. Deneen began her Philip Morris career as a secretary and advanced to positions of increasing responsibilities. Deneen worked full-time and attended classes at night for 11 years to earn her B.A. in Managerial Marketing from Pace University, New York City. Deneen served on the Board of Trustees with The Opportunity Charter School in Harlem, New York. She appeared in educational videos for children, worked as a runway fashion model, and auditioned for television commercials. Her interests include ancient history, pistol target shooting, photography, and volunteering at her church. Deneen currently resides in Connecticut with her husband Tom.

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