April 26, 2004
“The Kyoto Protocol and other misguided climate change legislation proposed in Congress would effectively kill the coal industry and destroy hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs from West Virginia to Wyoming if passed,” Senator Inhofe said. “It is critical for citizens across the United States – especially those in states that produce coal or count on coal for the majority for their energy needs – to seriously analyze the positions of Senator Kerry regarding this important fossil fuel. He might be saying one thing in West Virginia, but his record, and that of Senate Democrats on coal is job killing.”
Kerry, the presumptive democrat nominee for president, supported S.139 and voted for the bill, as amended. This bill, known as the McCain-Lieberman bill, calls for drastic reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. According to a June 2003 government report by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) that analyzed the bill, S.139 would: Reduce total coal produced by 13 percent as soon as 2010. Cut bituminous coal produced from 653 million tons to 201 million tons within 20 years, a 69 percent decrease. Cut coal employment by 72 percent. Eliminate 600,000 jobs and reduce GDP by 0.7 percent in 2012 alone. Reduce exports by up to $75 billion.
Kerry also co-sponsored S.556, the Jeffords bill, which calls for drastic emission reductions by 2007. The bill effectively would eliminate coal as a source of fuel for producing electricity. According to a 2001 report by the EIA, if the bill passed: coal is projected to lose a substantial share of the market to supply power to natural gas. coal-fired power generation is expected to decline 38-42 percent. coal production would decrease by 49 percent.
According to another government report, the November 18, 2002 Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate of the Jeffords bill, S.556 would: Cost electric generating industry as much as $60 billion and, “have an effect similar to a tax on pollution emitted” by generators equal to $113 billion.