Barbour warns against energy tax

Consumers could face huge increases in power and gasoline bills and economic growth in the Southeast and elsewhere in the U.S. could be stifled by tax proposals under study in Washington, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said Monday.

At the opening of an energy conference sponsored by the Southern Growth Policies Board, the second-term Republican said cap-and-trade proposals on carbon emissions being pushed by President Barack Obama’s administration would drive up the average cost of a Mississippi residential power bill by as much as 50 percent.

Barbour also said proposed federal taxes on energy production would drive up the cost of gasoline, diesel fuel and natural gas, not only on consumers, but on industry.