MOUNT VERNON — The American Energy Express rolled into Mount Vernon on Wednesday afternoon to hold a rally on Public Square for a workable energy policy. Sponsored by the American Energy Alliance, the group describes itself as a nonpartisan, not-for-profit grassroots advocacy group that has embarked on a monthlong bus tour to educate working families, retirees, small-business owners — essentially, every American who uses energy — on the cap-and-trade bill. The group sees cap-and-trade not as a solution to global warming, but as a tax on every family in the United States.
Speaking at the rally was Karen Wright, president and chief executive officer of Ariel Corp.
“Cap-and-trade is a bill that was called Waxman-Markey,” she said. “Essentially what it does is put a tax — or a trade, which is really a tax — on carbon dioxide emissions. Carbon dioxide is what you exhale when you breathe and it’s the stuff of life, so there’s a lot of it around. Most things have some sort of carbon dioxide associated with them.”
The theory behind global warming, she said, is the Earth is warming because of human-generated carbon dioxide.
“There may or may not be a correlation there. The idea [of cap-and-trade] is that you put a cap, or a lid, on how much carbon dioxide emissions you can have from your house, from your business, from your car, anything that has carbon dioxide coming out of it. ... Somebody somewhere in the government is going to decide how much you are personally allowed and how much that business is allowed and how much that utility is allowed. And then they are going to put a price tag on that, and say, ‘You are only allowed this much, but if you need more than that — if your factory uses more electricity, or natural gas, or whatever — you are going to have to buy credits from somebody else who has some to sell.”
Wright said this has been going on in Europe under the name of carbon trading. She said it hasn’t had any effect whatsoever on the temperature of the Earth.
“But in effect, what it does, is make energy more expensive,” she said. “Energy is the base of the economy. So what you are doing is you are putting a tax on everything. If you think about it, food, clothing and shelter, which are the most basic needs of everybody, are all driven by energy.”
There is hardly anything which doesn’t use electricity or some form of energy, she said, including solar and windmill energy sources, because the solar panels and windmills themselves have to be manufactured somewhere.
“And guess what?” she asked. “They use energy in some form. So you would be taxing everything.”
The end result, she said, is that everything across the entire economy would become more expensive.
The manufacturing segment of the economy would be paying more of the carbon tax because those companies are making goods bought by consumers.
“So what you are going to do,” she said, “is you are going to shove American manufacturing elsewhere, to some other country that doesn’t have a punitive tax on virtually everything, to get a result that is still theoretical.”
The result in 40 years if this bill passes, said Wright, is that it will put an enormous tax on the entire economy, and will reduce the Earth’s temperature by 1/10th of a degree.
“How is that remotely going to make a difference?” she asked.
The rally began with AEA President Thomas Pyle welcoming the crowd and thanking Mount Vernon for letting the group hold the rally on Public Square.
“We’re out here in Mount Vernon as part of a 25-day bus tour to educate folks from around the Ohio area and other states about the impact of the national energy tax. That’s the cap-and-trade bill,” he said. “Proponents called it a cap-and-trade-bill, but we call it a national energy tax that will cap our prosperity and trade away our freedom.
“It has two measurable outcomes,” he continued. “One is to increase the price of the 85 percent of the energy that we use to fuel our cars, heat our homes and run our businesses. Undoubtedly that will lead to unemployment and job losses in the manufacturing sector and the energy sector and a whole host of sectors.”
The AEA Tour is headed next to West Virginia and Pennsylvania.