Cap and trade, unfriendly to Missourians' wallets
October 30, 2009

Nave and irrational
by Missouri Rep. Ed Emery (R-126 including the counties of
Barton, Dade, Jasper and Polk)

"Facts are the raw material of reason" anonymous

A few days ago I participated in a hearing as a member of the Joint Committee on Missouri's Energy Future. Chairman Nolte had requested testimony regarding Missouri's current supplies of electricity and assessment of future demand. The Missouri Public Service Commission Chairman Robert Clayton testified as well as industry and consumer representatives. There was also specific testimony addressing the agricultural interests that dominate my four counties and how cap-and-trade would affect farm economics.

Amidst the wealth of data and analysis offered, one reoccurring theme was undisputed: Missouri is positioned to suffer great harm if the so-called "cap and trade" legislation passes as it is before congress. I don't remember hearing any testimony of even one benefit that Missouri would accrue from the scheme, and allagreed that our energy prices would increase dramatically.

As felonious as it seems, this irrational law does not create a felony or it would be subject to ex post facto laws and could not penalize Missourians for doing what was not against the law at the time. We are over 80% coal-dependent, and coal has served us well, giving us some of the least expensive electricity in America. There are industries and jobs in Missouri today that would be elsewhere if it were not for our electricity rates. Building coal generation plants has made us an energy exporter, saving Missourians millions of dollars over the years and improving our economy and standard of living.

Sounds like somebody made some wise and far-sighted decisions in the past doesn't it? But this Washington administration is attempting to virtually criminalize that wisdom of the past and penalize Missourians for doing what benefited us and all those to whom we supplied safe, reliable, and cheap electricity. There is something sadly nave and irrational about this punishing proposal called cap and trade. Were it not for special interests and political agendas, nothing this unscientific and counter-intuitive would even be considered, in my opinion.

As new facts emerge, the absurdity grows. H.R. 2454 in its current form has a section known as SEC. 202. Building Retrofit Program which allegedly requires you to upgrade your home to new government standards before being allowed to sell it. I have not fully reviewed the section, but it is linked above if you'd like to peruse it for yourself. You might also want to check out Sections 204 and 304 which appear to have related mandates. Where is "ex post facto" when you need him?

If facts truly are the "raw material of reason" then, maybe, as more and more is known about the disaster named cap-and-trade, reason will return to America and will overcome this costly and harmful idea. Pray for your nation and your state.

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