The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

What's in a Name?

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted August 25, 2009

It's always interesting to see how politicians use different words to describe the same thing. For example, some members of Congress call the Waxman-Markey bill that narrowly passed in the House an energy bill, while others call it a climate bill. In truth, it is a tax bill that, according to studies, threatens to sharply raise gasoline and diesel fuel costs as well as eliminate millions of jobs.

Now a new poll suggests that once registered voters focus on the potential impact of a Waxman-Markey type bill, about two-thirds oppose it. The poll, conducted by Harris Interactive in several states, shows that 65 percent of voters in New Mexico oppose the bill, along with 67 percent of voters in North Carolina, 63 percent of voters in Ohio, and 62 percent of voters in Texas. In each state, only 18-20 percent of registered voters supported the bill after learning about the analyses that estimate the bill's impact on jobs and buying power.

The analyses were conducted by CRA International and commissioned by API. They show, for example, that the House-passed bill could result in the elimination of 80,400 jobs in Tennessee and reduce the purchasing power of the state's average household by as much as $1,340 a year by 2030. In Indiana, CRA International says the bill could cost as many as 65,200 jobs and reduce purchasing power by as much as $1,050. And in Colorado, as many as 22,200 jobs could be eliminated and purchasing power could fall by as much as $1,100 if the House-passed bill is enacted.

Members of Congress can call the Waxman-Markey bill whatever they like, but they shouldn't ignore the fact that the majority of registered voters don't want it to become law.