June 06, 2008
Inhofe Statement on Climate Tax Bill’s Demise
WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, commented today on the cloture vote that effectively halted the Climate Tax Bill.
"This bill was doomed from the start," Senator Inhofe said. "When the Majority Leader filled the amendment tree and filed cloture on the Climate Tax Bill, it was obvious that the Democrats were not serious about supporting this bill. This was one of the largest bills ever considered by this Congress and probably the largest non-appropriations bill the Senate has ever considered. This bill deserved a full and honest debate, with amendments offered and voted upon. The American people did not deserve a political exercise geared toward election year politics. Republicans were prepared to debate this bill with over 150 amendments ready to be offered. The Democrats did not want to debate and vote on our amendments that were aimed at protecting American families and workers from the devastating economic impacts of this bill. The 1990 Clean Air Act amendments were considered on the Senate floor for five weeks, and this comprehensive climate bill demands at least equal debate.
"The committee process was short-circuited, the floor debate was circumvented, and the amendment process was derailed. I do not see how the Democrats use this failed bill as any kind of model for future success. As I suspected, reality hit the U.S. Senate when the economic facts of this bill were exposed. When faced with the inconvenient truth of the bill’s impact on skyrocketing gas prices, very few Senators were willing to even debate this bill."
This week’s Climate Tax Bill debate revealed many useful insights into why the American people will remain skeptical of a global warming cap-and-trade system.
The Wall Street Journal aptly noted on June 6 that environmentalists are "stunned that their global warming agenda is in collapse" after the Climate Tax Bill debate. "The green groups now look as politically intimidating as the skinny kid on the beach who gets sand kicked in his face. Those groups spent millions advertising and lobbying to push the cap-and-trade bill through the Senate," the paper noted. "With gasoline selling at $4 a gallon, the Democrats picked the worst possible time to bring up cap and trade," a political analyst noted. "This issue is starting to feel like the Hillary health care plan," the analyst added. (LINK)
On June 3, Roll Call quoted frustrated Democrat staffers as being beside themselves in anger for the way the cap-and-trade bill was presented.
"We have no strategy, no message and no plan," said one senior Senate Democrat aide. "Everyone knows this bill is going nowhere. The president is opposed to it. The House is not inclined toward action on this, and now we're going to spend valuable floor time on a bill that's going nowhere ... while Republicans are champing at the bit to accuse Democrats of raising gas prices," the aide added. “Boxer is walking us off a cliff,” another senior Senate Democratic aide said, according to the paper. (LINK) & (LINK)
What We Learned This Week:
1) Raise Gas Prices Higher: "Government studies confirm this will only raise gas prices." The EPA estimates that the Lieberman-Warner bill will increase fuel costs an additional 53 cents per gallon by 2030 and by $1.40 by 2050. The Energy Information Agency (EIA) estimates gas prices will increase anywhere from 41 cents per gallon to $1.01 per gallon by 2030.
2) Largest Tax Increase Ever: The Climate Tax Bill was the largest tax increase in American history. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says Lieberman-Warner would effectively raise taxes on Americans by over a trillion dollars just during the next 10 years. The bill would have created $6.7 Trillion in the form of higher gasoline and electricity bills, and with no climate benefit. The Lieberman-Warner bill did not have a tax cut provision in it. Boxer’s claim of "tax relief" in the bill is based on a non-binding Sense of the Senate resolution that says some funds "should be" used to protect consumers from the coming "increases in energy and other costs" caused by the bill (Section 585, page 204 of substitute version, Sense of the Senate on Tax Initiative to Protect Consumers).
3) Nuclear Energy Lacking: Nuclear power is by far the world’s largest sources of non-emitting energy. Any credible attempt to reduce carbon emissions must include significant development of new nuclear plants. Merely passing a climate bill will not be enough to support the nuclear construction needed to satisfy the bill’s mandates. Additional incentives will be indispensable in the near-term to revitalize the industry to a level that encourages massive development.
4) Job Killer: The independent Energy Information Administration says the bill would result in a 9.5% drop in manufacturing output and higher energy costs, and that it will be worse unless we can build 268 new nuclear plants by 2030. This country has already lost 3 million manufacturing jobs since 2000. An analysis of this bill by the National Association of Manufacturers and the American Council for Capital Formation states that up to 1.8 million jobs could be forfeited by 2020 and 4 million jobs could be by 2030. Midwestern states alone could lose close to a million jobs alone in this time frame. Without international participation, which this bill fails to adequately address, global concentrations of greenhouse gases will continue to increase, even if America were to nearly eliminate its emissions.
# # #