(KCPW News) Utah's three congressmen all voted against the American Clean Energy and Security Act on Friday. Republican Congressman Rob Bishop says he voted against the energy bill because the cap-and-trade provision would increase energy costs and hurt Utah's economy.
"Well the bill is actually a national energy tax," Bishop says. "And it's a tax that's going to hit everybody. It's a tax that will cause a decrease in jobs and it's a tax that will be disproportionate throughout both the nation as well as the economic strata."
Bishop says there are other ways to address climate change, such as the incentive programs outlined in the GOP's Americans for American Energy Act. He says such tax incentives and credits would reward American ingenuity for developing new technology to meet greenhouse gas standards, rather than penalizing the energy industry.
Proponents of the bill say it will create new renewable energy jobs, but Bishop believes it won't create enough.
"Yeah, we'd like to have green jobs. But I want to have blue collar jobs and white collar jobs and red, white and blue jobs. We need more jobs right now," Bishop says. "At a time when everyone's being asked to tighten their belts in an economic recession, this is not the time to go after jobs."
The bill passed by a margin of only seven votes. Congressman Jim Matheson was one of 44 Democrats to vote against it. On the House floor, he criticized its (quote) "one-size fits all" renewable energy standard. And Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz also voted "no."