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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 1, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Cap-and-trade: heavy burdens or a healthier planet?

Life with cap-and-trade means economy will sink

Have you tried to imagine life in the event cap-and-trade becomes law [“Dealmaking climate passes emissions bill,” Close Up, July 1]?

The cost of American goods and services will skyrocket, pushing us all into buying even more Chinese products of dubious value. U.S. exports will plummet, being overpriced. Gasoline prices will erupt, heading to $7 per gallon.

This is all because the dollar will lose enormous value as deficit spending continues and domestic drilling becomes politically incorrect. For lower and middle-income citizens, already struggling to make ends meet, the struggle becomes nearly futile. Discontent will grow as President Obama’s heralded tax cuts prove to be nominal at best.

In the midst of our torment, politicians will try to convince us that cap-and-trade will work. But there is no way of measuring its success or failure. What index would we consult? What shaman would we call in?

Obama is in way over his head on this one. And what is the rush to pass this legislation in the midst of so many other woes anyway?

— J. Timothy Hobbs, Enumclaw

Waxman-Markey bill would bring rising costs to homeowners

This Waxman-Markey bill claims to go after big energy consumers and polluters, but it will ultimately place the burden on consumers resulting in higher prices across the board. Low-income and middle-class working Americans will be adversely affected by this legislation as they see steep price increases in filling their gas tanks, heating their homes and buying groceries.

In addition, this bill forces all homeowners to pay for a government-rated test before selling a home. The test must pass government regulations in order for the homeowner to sell its home. If the home does not pass the test, the homeowner must fix any and all issues to comply with the test.

Clearly, this would be a huge burden and cost for the homeowner. The cap-and-trade bill will not protect our environment as it is represented.

Wake up America and see the government reaching into your wallets once again!

— Marikay Cuthill, Bellevue

Rising energy costs will bring more unemployment

As a recent graduate from college, the prospects of an ailing economy, a broken health-care system and the growing threat of climate change not only trouble me but many like myself who are beginning a new chapter in their lives. We slowly feel as if the road ahead is not only bumpy but is congested with problems developed through an overreaching and infringing government body.

This time last summer, we saw oil and gas prices reach record highs. Homeowners across the state saw much of their income being siphoned away from their everyday needs so they could fill up their gas tank.

Companies saw rising costs as transportation and delivery expenses soared. The money that went to pay this energy bill could have easily been used to fill the pockets of workers enhancing growth in consumer spending — a driving force of economic prosperity — but it didn’t.

The U.S. House has passed another troublesome bill that not only threatens the growth of the economy but job security for low-income and middle-class workers across the nation. With HB 2454, Congress hopes to again go after the wallet of Americans in the name of climate change; effectively taxing both families and companies for their energy use without regard for the effects on families around the country.

Last summer, companies sent workers home because they could not afford the costs of labor due to soaring energy costs. If our senators want to truly stand up for those who need it most, if they want to show empathy to those who have the chips stacked against them, I urge them to vote against this bill.

It will only help give us the feared 10 percent unemployment rate. Washington voters asked for change. By change, we did not mean from employed to unemployed.

— Michael F. Sherman, Seattle

Comments | More in Cap-and-trade, Climate change, Energy, Environment


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