(CNN) – Indiana Rep. Mike Pence on Saturday touted the Republicans' omnibus, “all-of-the-above” energy plan, while warning that proposals from Democrats would lead to higher energy prices and massive job losses.
Pence, the chairman of the House GOP American Energy Solutions Group, and other House Republicans this week introduced the American Energy Act, a plan they say will reduce energy costs, create jobs and help clean up the environment.
The plan calls for expanded exploration of domestic sources for oil and natural gas, a commitment to nuclear energy, investments in renewable and alternative energy technology and incentives for the public to focus on conservation.
“The American Energy Act is the comprehensive energy solution this country desperately needs to achieve energy independence, create good jobs and help our environment,” Pence said in the weekly Republican address.
Republicans have criticized the Democrats' proposal to curb greenhouse emissions using the so-called “cap-and-trade” program, saying it amounts to an energy tax.
A bill drafted by Democrats sets a target for cutting greenhouse gases by 17 percent from their 2005 levels by 2020. An auction for the credits, which effectively starts in 2014, allows businesses that meet the new energy standard to sell their credits to those who are still working to become more energy efficient. The theory is that as businesses become more energy efficient and less polluting, the market in pollution credits will help bring down emissions.
According to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, when the auction goes into full effect it could yield an average of about $100 billion a year. Democrats argue this will spur a new marketplace for clean energy technologies and generate new "green" jobs.
Most House Republicans contend that as utility companies work to meet the new standards, they will pass on the costs of the new mandates to consumers.
“This national energy tax amounts to an economic declaration of war on America's families, small businesses and family farms. The American people know we can do better,” Pence said.
Rep. Mike Pence gets "The Last Word" on CNN's "State of the Union with John King" this Sunday. Tune in at 9 a.m. ET.