On April 17, 2009, MoveOn.org’s Adam Ruben said in a panicked email: “If Republicans convince voters that clean energy legislation amounts to a new tax, Obama’s plan is toast.”
He was right. Voters knew it was a tax and the plan was not only toast, so was the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives. The day after that 2010 shellacking, however, the president famously said that cap-and-trade “was just one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way.”
Obama’s new approach to skin all of us energy-consuming cats is to have the EPA pressure states to adopt draconian greenhouse gas regulations, under the threat of losing their highway funds. One way states can comply is to adopt precisely the cap-and-trade scheme the American people already rejected. Regardless of how they comply, if states play along, it means significant cost increases, which will be passed on to customers in their energy bills. …
A recent study by leading econometric firm NERA found the most likely scenario would impose present-value costs of $479 billion, with $335 billion in higher electricity costs and $144 billion in higher natural gas costs. These costs will be buried in utility bills; concealed from the public that won’t know why they are paying more or that it traces back to political decisions made in Washington.