Energy companies and other business groups have launched a campaign against the climate change legislation pending in the US Congress.

According to these companies, the new legislation could cost millions of jobs, lead to a sharp rise in gasoline prices and suck thousands of dollars from household incomes.

The US Senate is preparing to take up a bill that would set a nationwide cap on emissions, and create a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emissions thereby compelling companies to pay to pollute.

The Associated Press quoted Margo Thorning, chief economist with the American Council for Capital Formation, as saying: The link between economic growth and energy can’t be broken. There will be cutbacks in production, losses in productivity.

However, Eric Stern, senior counselor to Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, countered these claims by saying: They’ve been denying climate change is happening for so long, and now they’re trying anything they can to scare people. This is a petroleum industry front group that is literally like a cigarette company promoting a study that says smoking is good for you.