To the editor:

Lost in the current health care debate, is another piece of domestic legislation that will alter the American economy in a very profound, and negative, way: Cap and Trade.

Just like the House cap and trade bill that passed in July, the policies contained in the Senate version, places a new fuel tax on every Illinois consumer and business. The federal government's Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently said that Kerry Boxer would cause gasoline prices to jump to over $5 per gallon. In addition, total costs for the average U.S. household would increase up to $1,870 that is almost 4 percent of Illinoisans' disposable income.

Cap and Trade is designed to push up consumer prices for gasoline, diesel fuel, heating oil as well as for the natural gas used to heat our homes and cook our meals with the hope that alternative sources of energy will fill the void. However, the Department of Energy forecasts oil will continue to account for the largest share of our energy needs filling 34 percent of total energy demand and 87 percent of our transportation needs in 2030.

As our Illinois state representatives consider increasing taxes to pay for their budget mess, it is my hope Senators Durbin and Burris don't tax our energy from Washington D.C.

Steven Daniels

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