Congressman Steve King says the United States will be permanently damaged if the U.S. Senate passes the energy bill that cleared the U.S. House last month.
King, a Republican from Kiron, was among those who voted against the bill and he held a forum in Sioux City Monday to try to build public opposition to the plan.
"This is a government reach into many aspects of our lives. There will be no American that can live a year or a decade in this country who does not pay an additional cost to this cap and trade bill," King says. "…If we pass cap and trade, I do not believe it is reversible and so this is the Rubicon. Should it be passed in the United States Senate, I believe we will have passed a point by which will never return to the United States of America."
The Rubicon is a river in Italy and "crossing the Rubicon" is a reference to a "point of no return" — as Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon River, an act that started a civil war. King says Spain instituted a similar "cap and trade" system and, according to King, the Mafia got involved in the transactions.
"Their residential electrical bills went up 20% in the three years. Their industrial electrical bills went up 100% in the same three years," King says. "…For every green job they created, it cost them 2.2 jobs in the private sector and, additionally, the Sicilian Mafia got involved in brokering the permits to build the wind generators and the result is they have the highest unemployment rate in the industrialized world — that’s 17-and-a-half percent and growing."
Supporters of the energy bill, like Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, say the measure is a big step forward in reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil, represents a huge new investment in renewable energy and will create new "green-collar" jobs.