Democrats' Policies Would Raise Energy Costs on Poor, Elderly

As president of Citizens Energy Corporation (CEG), former Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) is involved in some very noble work. The aim of CEG is to help thousands of poor, elderly households in the Northeast pay for their heating costs.

CEG was quite busy in 2001, when the Northeast — especially the poor and elderly — was suffering from a brutally cold winter, which drove up the price of energy. As Kennedy said on January 4, 2001: “I mean, this is a very, very tough time, people don’t understand that little old ladies on Social Security, their incomes don’t go up at all when they have to pay hundreds of dollars more to heat their homes in the middle of winter. So they do face very serious problems, and they face choices between paying for their prescription drugs, or enough food to eat, or to stay warm at night. It’s a real crisis for low-income people, who often don’t show up on the TV screen.”

FACT: CEG could find itself even busier if the policies championed by Joe Kennedy’s friends in the Democratic Party and the environmental movement become law. Those policies, which call for, among other things, regulating carbon dioxide emissions, would hit the poor and elderly the hardest, as several independent, non-partisan analyses have convincingly shown. For example:

  • the international Kyoto Protocol, which Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associates (WEFA) says would cause a doubling of energy and electricity prices;
  • the Clean Power Act, which in 2010, according to EIA, would increase overall residential-energy costs by 17 percent and household electricity costs by 25 percent; and
  • the Climate Stewardship Act of 2003, a Kyoto implementation bill, that EIA says would make electricity prices 46 percent higher in 2025.