Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

August 20, 2009

Cap and trade opponents rally in Bluefield, Va.

BLUEFIELD, Va. — A hot air balloon rose and descended Thursday as fears were expressed about how a proposal to regulate the emission of carbon dioxide by industries and power plants could impact the coal industry and the lives of people touched by it.

Americans for Prosperity, an organization opposed to proposed cap and trade regulations for the emission of carbon dioxide and other gases linked to global warming, also known as climate change, hosted a rally Thursday at the Graham Recreation Park.

“The focus of our events right now is pretty much the cap and trade bill being pushed through Congress,” Michael Harinstein, Americans for Prosperity’s director of marketing said as a burner inflated a hot air balloon.

Large tax hikes prompted by the legislation would result in much greater prices for heating and cooling homes and the cost of gasoline as well as the loss of jobs in industries such as coal, Harinstein said.

“The coal industry is a great example of the regulations they’re trying to put on industry,” he added.

Harinstein said Americans for Prosperity was not against protecting the environment, but the organization is concerned about the impact the cap and trade bill would have on the nation’s economy and its citizens.

“We need to revisit this and make sure we have all the facts,” Harinstein said. “What it (bill) is is one of the largest tax increases in American history.”

To illustrate this point, Harinstein said that the Congressional Budget Office had estimated that the cap and trade legislation would generate approximately $864 billion in revenue growth for the federal government.

Whether any changes in the weather that have been noted is the result of human activity is still being debated, Tim Phillips, president of the AFP said in a telephone interview with the Bluefield Daily Telegraph.

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