October 18, 2007
INHOFE SLAMS NEW CAP-AND-TRADE BILL AS ALL ‘ECONOMIC PAIN FOR NO CLIMATE GAIN'
WASHINGTON, DC - Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, commented on the introduction of S. 2191, "America's Climate Security Act" by Senators Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) and John Warner (R-VA), calling the legislation yet another in a series of global warming cap-and-trade bills that would cripple our economy while achieving no real environmental benefits.
"The Lieberman-Warner bill will burden American families with additional energy costs and significantly harm the United States economy," Senator Inhofe said. "Senators are going to be asking the American people to pay more for home energy and pay higher prices at the gas pump for no climate benefit. This bill will simply result in real economic pain, for no climate gain. MIT climate scientist Richard Lindzen correctly summed up these types of efforts in March when he said, ‘Controlling carbon is a bureaucrat's dream. If you control carbon, you control life.'
"I look forward to Environment & Public Works Committee hearings on this legislation. The American people deserve an open and honest debate on the merits of any proposed climate change legislation, especially considering that mandatory carbon cap-and-trade legislation will impose the largest tax increase ever in the U.S. without any measurable climate benefits. To put it bluntly: The American people are being asked to pay significantly more for energy just so lawmakers in Washington can say they did ‘something' about global warming. And just what will cap-and-trade legislation actually do? Cap-and-trade policies have been tried in Europe and they have proven to be an utter disaster. European emissions continue to climb while our current policies have resulted in emissions tailing off in the U.S. If we were going to impose enormous costs to our economy, a carbon tax would be a much more efficient and transparent approach.
"This bill [S. 2191] is patterned after the Lieberman-McCain bill which an MIT study earlier this year found would cost $3500 per family of four. According to an EPA analysis, Lieberman-McCain would impose a price increase for oil of 20% and for natural gas of 23%. This will have enormous impacts, especially on the poor. A 2006 survey of Colorado homeless families with children found that high energy bills were cited as one of the two main reasons they became homeless. (LINK) The Lieberman-Warner is even more stringent than the Lieberman-McCain bill on covered sectors, but fails to provide any more environmental benefits. In addition, the United States Senate has passed two resolutions that any climate action must neither harm our economy nor fail to include developing countries. Lieberman-Warner does not pass that test.
"Why should we send American jobs to China while China builds a new coal plant every three days and will ramp up production even further? Moreover, our plants are more efficient than China's plants, so S.2191 could cause net global emissions to increase, not decrease. All of this cap-and-trade talk comes at a time when the science underpinning man-made global warming fears is being debunked in peer-reviewed studies. In August, a comprehensive survey of peer-reviewed studies from 2004-2007 revealed that climate science continues to shift toward the views of global warming skeptics." (LINK)
CO2 cap-and-trade schemes were exposed by a recent CBO study as creating massive wealth redistribution from the poor and working class to wealthier Americans. Further, according to a MIT study released earlier this year, cap-and-trade legislation introduced earlier in the Senate this year by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Senator Boxer (D-CA) would cost energy sector consumers an amount equal to $4,500 per American family of four. The same study found a bill sponsored by Senator Lieberman and Senator McCain (R-AZ) would cost consumers $3,500 per family of four. And a new EPA analysis shows the Lieberman - McCain bill would cost up to half a trillion dollars by 2030 and $1.3 trillion by 2050 - and that was based on assumptions designed to low-ball the number, begging the question of how high the real figure would be. The Kyoto Protocol would have imposed an equivalent tax of $300 billion a year, 10 times the size of the Clinton-Gore tax increase of 1993.
The United States Senate has passed two similar resolutions establishing a standard for passing global warming legislation. In 1997, the Byrd-Hagel Sense of the Senate, which passed 95 - 0, resolved that the U.S. should not be a signatory to any international agreement that would result in serious harm to the U.S. economy or did not mandate reductions from the developing world. Similarly, the Bingaman Sense of the Senate, passed in 2005, resolved that the U.S. should address global warming as long as it will not significantly harm the United States economy and encourages comparable action by other nations that are major trading partners and key contributors to global emissions.