Monday, June 29, 2009

Cap and Trade Letter to the President and California Congresswomen

President Obama, Senator Feinstein, and Senator Boxer,

It is very unfortunate that you are really out of touch with your constituents. The energy bill, cap and trade, will do nothing more than place a burden on many of us that use energy to heat and cool our homes, commute to jobs that are in excess of 30 miles from home, which is a norm for many in California as I’m sure it is in other parts of the country, it is guaranteed to raise prices on all consumer goods, including food, as taxes levied on business will be pass on to the consumer, and bring job losses at a time when the job market is in such turmoil. All of you in congress and the white house are part of an elite group that do not see any change or detrimental effect in your daily way of life or course of living; let’s face it, you have adequate financial means and security.

Let me lay it out in a clear way with real life examples:

Both my husband and I are retired and receiving annuities, my husband works a part time job teaching for a community college, and we care for our disabled adult son. The city we live in, Temecula, has cold winters and very hot summers. Today, we don’t pay too much for gas heat in the winter, it is affordable. However, in the summer, the temperatures, for at least three months of the year, exceed the high nineties and many times drift into the triple digits. Cooling our home to a comfortable seventy-nine degrees costs us in excess of $500.00 per month. As a middle income family, but because we both receive annuities, we will not qualify for any of the subsidies your bill has identified. At this point, your cap and trade bill will cost us dearly.

Although we no longer commute to work, when we did, our commute equated to 130 miles round trip. At the current cost of $3.00 per gallon for gasoline, it would cost us $135.00 a week for the commute to work. Adding any additional tax to gasoline, would seriously put a dent in our pocketbook just to be able to get to work. A high percentage of people living in our community commute to either the San Diego or Riverside area for work, just think of the detrimental impact an additional gasoline tax would have on these middle class American workers.

If just the two aforementioned increases in energy taxes, electricity and gasoline, affect my day to day living, they will also affect companies and businesses that produce, manufacture, sell and transport goods that we all consume. It is inevitable that these costs will be passed on to consumers. I can’t begin to estimate how much of an increase my food and clothing purchases will be, but I suspect there will be a large increase.

It is estimated that at least two jobs will be lost for every one green job. Both my daughter and son-in-law are unemployed at this time and they also have a three year old to feed and care. Can you guarantee that at least one of them will be able to find employment within the next six months when their unemployment benefits ends? The stimulus bill you previously passed and promised would create jobs has done nothing to help them and many others in California, where the unemployment rate is now in the double digits.

The energy bill is supposed to decrease energy consumption by increasing taxes on carbon emissions; but in fact, for the average taxpayer, will only increase taxes that will affect normal day to day living. There is nothing in this bill that can help me decrease my carbon footprint or decrease my energy usage, unless it expects my family to live in extreme heat or cold, eat less, not drive to work, and my children remain unemployed. The fact is we now only consume what we need for day to day living. This bill only increases taxes and leaves less available for my family for day to day living; if you believe otherwise, you are deaf and blind to the true plight of the middle income family. That is reality.

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