KINGMAN - At least three state representatives have voiced their opposition to a cap and trade bill moving through Congress. The measure recently passed the U.S. House and is currently working its way through the U.S. Senate.
According to Americans for Prosperity, Arizona Sen. Ron Gould and U.S. Rep. Trent Franks have signed a pledge against the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. And Rep. Nancy McLain can also be counted among the global warming skeptics, though she was not cited for signing the pledge.
According to GovTrack.us, the act is a conglomeration of changes to energy rules and regulations governing air pollution from and the efficiency of vehicles, industry, appliances and energy providers.
GovTrack.us is an independent Web site that tracks federal legislation and the voting records and statements of congressmen.
The most contested point of the bill proposes the capping of certain air pollutants, including carbon dioxide, and the allocation and trade of pollution credits among industry.
Supporters of the bill say it would reduce the amount of greenhouse gases and pollutants in the air and give energy providers a stronger incentive to move toward renewable energy resources.
McLain doesn't believe global warming is a man-made phenomenon. She believes it is just part of the natural warming and cooling cycle of the planet.
"I think it's a fraud perpetrated on the American people," she said.
McLain has not signed the pledge.
"Now should we reduce carbon emissions to prevent smog, sure," she said. "But we do not want to destroy businesses on a false premise."
Opponents of the bill, such as Gould, say that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant and that cap and trade bills are actually a tax on industry and its customers.
"I think cap and trade is a bad idea," Gould said. "It's really more of a cap and tax."
It also makes for a good investment scam, Gould said.
If the bill passes, industry that falls under its regulation will be able to apply for credits that will allow it to exceed the pollution limits imposed by the federal government. Some of those credits can be traded on the stock market or to other industries looking for more credits.
Gould was also concerned about language in the bill that would expand the cap and trade program and allow the pollution credits to be traded internationally.
"The U.S. could be subsidizing industry in Mexico," he said.
According to GovTrack.us, the bill would also provide rebates for low-income residents to help with possible increases in the cost of energy to the consumer. The bill also offers rebates for consumers who buy energy efficient appliances.
That increase would far outweigh any help the federal government would provide, Gould said. He also raised concerns that the bill would require homeowners to retrofit their homes to make them more energy efficient before being able to sell them.
According to GovTrack.us, the bill does have language that would require remodeled and new buildings to meet higher energy efficiency standards, but did not appear to have anything governing the sale of older homes.
A summary of the bill can be found at www.GovTrack.us. A list of congressmen, state legislators, mayors, governors and others who have signed the pledge against the bill can be found at www.noclimatetax.com.