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)
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 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.
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WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, commented today on the failed Climate Tax Bill.
“This bill was doomed from the start,” Senator Inhofe said. “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.”
Largest Tax Increase in History: "$6.7 Trillion in the form of Higher Gasoline and Electricity Bills"
“$6.7 Trillion in the form of Higher Gasoline and Electricity Bills”
· The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says the Climate Tax bill would effectively raise taxes on Americans by over a trillion dollars just over the next 10 years.
· Sponsors of the bill and its substitute estimate it will generate over $6.7 trillion in revenues through 2050 from the sale and auction of carbon allowance to energy users.
· Unfortunately, that $6.7 trillion cost will be passed on to families and workers across the country in the form of higher gas prices, higher electricity and heating/cooling bills, more expensive consumer goods and higher workplace costs.
· In fact, new funding for government programs, minus any set asides for transition assistance or tax relief to states, industry, or consumers under the Act is a staggering $4.2 trillion.
· In my state of Oklahoma, according to various economic models, this bill will cost $3,298 to Oklahoma families in 2020 and cut over 51,000 jobs through the life of the bill.
· Carbon caps will have an especially harmful impact on low-income Americans and those with fixed incomes.
· A recent CBO report found: "Most of the cost of meeting a cap on CO2 emissions would be borne by consumers, who would face persistently higher prices for products such as electricity and gasoline.
· Those price increases would be regressive in that poorer households would bear a larger burden relative to their income than wealthier households."
· The poor already face energy costs as a much higher percentage of their income than wealthier Americans. While most Americans spend about 4% of their monthly budget on heating their homes or other energy needs, the poorest fifth of Americans spend 19%.
· 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.
· In March, Roy Innis, chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality, warned that mandated carbon controls would disproportionately impact minorities. "We are harming our poorest families; we are rolling back the civil rights we struggled so long and hard to achieve; and we are sending many minorities to the back of the energy and economic bus. This must not, and cannot continue," Innis said.
· The Wall Street Journal said on May 27 that the bill “would impose the most extensive government reorganization of the American economy since the 1930s.”
· The Cleveland Plain Dealer said the bill “will just bore new holes into an already battered economy. It also doesn't have a prayer of becoming law.”
· A June 2, Wall Street Journal further opined: “This is easily the largest income redistribution scheme since the income tax.”
WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, issued the following statement tonight on the announcement by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to fill the amendment tree and file cloture on the Climate Tax Bill.
“I am disturbed that the Majority Leader has filled the amendment tree and filed cloture on the Climate Tax Bill,” Senator Inhofe said. “This is the largest bill we will consider this Congress and probably the largest non-appropriations bill the Senate has ever considered. This bill deserves a full and honest debate, with amendments offered and voted upon.
“It is disingenuous to say that the amendment tree is being filled because of the Minority Leader’s actions today regarding judicial nominations. Rather, it is being filled because the Democrats do not want to debate and vote on our amendments that are aimed at protecting American families and workers from the devastating economic impacts of this bill. The last time the minority had to resort to floor tactics to make our point on judicial nominations was last April, when the Senate last considered an Environment and Public Works Committee bill, the Highway Technical Corrections bill. The nominations issue was worked out for the time being and we continued work on the bill and completed it. This bill is certainly far more important than the Highway Technical Corrections bill, and the nominations dispute did not disrupt that bill from being considered.
“The Majority brought this Climate Tax Bill to the floor, and if they are serious about the issue, they will allow an open debate on amendments. If they don’t, then it is obvious that this was just a political exercise and not a real attempt to legislate. The Majority Leader and Senator Boxer have both said this issue is too important to wait and that the Senate needs to act now. Well, let us act. Let us offer, debate, and vote on amendments.
Excerpt: How does Washington plan to resolve our energy problems and control atmospheric temperatures? Well, how do they fix anything? By proposing a gargantuan boondoggle. A "cap and trade" bill, one that will supposedly cut 66 percent of our emissions by 2050, is being debated in Congress this week. To begin with, proponents of America's Climate Security Act have been misleading the public by claiming that cap and trade is a "market- based" solution. In truth, cap and trade does to the market what "American Idol" does to music. The idea sounds harmless: government caps emissions, and corporations trade the allotted credits among themselves. Some of the credits will be auctioned off by government. The Wall Street Journal estimates these auctions will net $6.7 trillion for government coffers by 2050. And those de facto taxes will not be paid by disreputable energy CEOs and their greasy lobbyist henchmen. They will be paid by you. Environmental special interest groups — willing to do absolutely anything for the environment with your money — will be lining up at the trough to gobble up billions of dollars in pork offered by the Joe Lieberman- and John Warner-sponsored legislation. One bill has around $190 billion allocated to training for "green-collar jobs" to replace those obnoxious people who produce energy you can actually afford. More than $500 billion is earmarked for "wildlife adaptation." Another $342 billion would be spent on international aid — because Lord knows we don't need it here — and billions more for mass transit, nuclear plants, kickbacks to Indian tribes and corporations, assistance to those having trouble paying energy bills (wonder why?) and other knickknacks. OK, so despite the enormous costs, we're positive the cap and trade will work, right? The European Union has a cap and trade scheme in place. It's generally regarded as a complete failure. The price of credits has plummeted, and countries were unsuccessful in meeting the emissions cap set by the Kyoto Protocol. So, naturally, proponents refer to the EU cap and trade scheme as a "test run" or a program only in its delicate "infancy." It just wasn't executed properly. If smarter folks like Warner and Barbara Boxer could get hold of this hyper-complex initiative, boy, we're bound to see results. The Kyoto agreement, incidentally, aspires to slash 175 millions tons of COb by 2012, which, according to professor Roger Pielke of the University of Colorado, would save six and a half days of carbon emission in total. If delaying six days has been so difficult in Europe, what kind of economic toll would a 66 percent cut have on our economy?
Excerpt: Remember the Hillary Clinton health-care plan of 1993? It’s deja-vu time. The media will sell this bill as an important solution that absolutely everyone who considers himself a responsible citizen will support. Virtually absent from the discussion will be the cost, both financial and in the loss of freedom. If either of these prices are covered, they will be vastly underestimated. A Heritage Foundation analysis is sobering. If you think Katrina was an expensive proposition, consider that according to Heritage, the economic damage of the bill would equal the cost of “660 hurricanes – 35 per year – for two decades.” Don’t expect that statement to make it on the evening news. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says Lieberman-Warner would effectively raise taxes on Americans by more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years. That won’t be a headline in USA Today, either. […] Climatologist Patrick Michaels thinks it would have virtually no effect on the climate, an additional 0.013 degrees (Celsius) of “prevented” warming. That’s another little bitty fact that will never see the light of day on most press reports. Instead what we’ll get is the usual hot air, except this time it has the price tag of 660 hurricanes.
Excerpt: The left is getting absolutely destroyed in the debate on the Senate floor over global warming. Roll Call reports that Democratic staffers are complaining that leadership “is walking us off a cliff” on the issue. Far left activists report they are hearing similar things from their allies in Congress. The left is quickly discovering that Americans are not eager to pay higher gas and energy prices in exchange for completely symbolic action on global warming. Conservatives in the House have been paying attention to the debate as well and they want to keep it going.
Excerpt: In their rush to bypass the federal government on climate change, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Quebec Premier Jean Charest appear ready to play Russian roulette with their provinces' economies.
Make no mistake. The Ontario/Quebec "cap and trade" carbon trading system proposed for 2010 by the premiers yesterday is a carbon tax by another name. Through government rationing of the right to emit carbon, affected industries will face new costs they will have to factor into the pricing of their products, making them less competitive. Does McGuinty understand the implications of this for Ontario's already-reeling auto sector?
If Ontario and Quebec act alone, how will they stop the flight of business and capital to jurisdictions that don't have cap and trade systems, such as Alberta or China?
Excerpt: Having learned from the Farm Bill that people will pass anything if you buy enough of them off, Sen. Boxer has proposed a substitute amendment to the Lieberman-Warner global warming bill currently before the Senate, which will redistribute trillions (yes, trillions) of dollars to the environmental-industrial complex. Senator McConnell just objected to the Boxer substitute amendment being taken as read. The Clerk is now reading aloud the 491 page substitute, which was described as making small textual corrections to the 157 page bill.
Excerpt: If Congress holds a pork barbecue, do they need to apply for carbon credits? Politico reports that the Lieberman-Warner bill currently under debate represents the biggest opportunity in recent memory for lobbyists to carve out pork-barrel projects and other set-asides as the government prepares to take over the energy industry. And if this Super Bowl turns out to be a bust, the next one may take place during a presidency that won’t threaten a veto: The climate change legislation being debated now in the Senate is the Super Bowl for lobbyists, roping in everyone from Alaskan Inupiaqs to venture capitalists.“We’re only this far because of the array of citizen groups, business, labor, environmentalists, religious communities, hunters, anglers, you could go on,” Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) told reporters on Capitol Hill. “It’s this mighty force rising out from the American public.” … Depending on how Congress eventually deals with global warming, the outcome will inevitably hurt some companies while creating significant new markets for others.
Excerpt: On behalf of the 362,000 members of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), I urge you to oppose S. 2191, the Lieberman-Warner "Climate Security Act." This bill would impose an annual cap on the emissions of six greenhouse gases, principally carbon dioxide, and would establish a trading system for emissions allowances. This "cap-and-trade" system constitutes a colossal tax hike and should be opposed due to its enormous cost and regulatory implications. First and foremost, this bill amounts to a huge tax hike. Though the mechanism obscures the fact slightly, this bill effectively imposes a substantial carbon tax. Capping emissions and requiring entities to purchase additional allowances from the federal government will lead to an explosion in revenue. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the tax increase adds up to nearly $1.2 trillion over just a seven-year period from enactment in 2012 to 2018. Enacting S. 2191 would also tremendously harm economic growth and job expansion.
Excerpt: The New Jersey Global Warming Act, which became law last year, is the most restrictive and economically harmful such measure in the entire country, said Doherty, who explained why the law is a Kyoto-type policy at the state level. The New Jersey law calls for greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced to where they were in 1990 "no later" than 2020. It further stipulates that emissions not exceed 80 percent of their 2006 levels "no later" than 2050. Under this scenario, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) will be "unleashed" with a "blank check" to audit and harasses businesses into submission, said Doherty. He foresees the implementation of a "huge, new bureaucracy" to manage the new "cap and trade" regime whereby businesses will be compelled to purchase credits when they exceed emissions limits. "This means we can expect more corruption, waste and higher taxes," Doherty said. "Businesses will begin to move into other states where they see greater opportunity and less government intrusion."
Excerpt: A U.S. economist praises Congress for planning to fight global warming, but he says the plan being considered would hasten environmental calamity. Peter Morici, former chief economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission, is concerned about the Warner-Lieberman bill pending in the Senate. It would limit U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2012 to 2005 levels, and reduce those by 70 percent in 2050.
Excerpt: Last Friday, Sen. Dorgan told me that he remembers getting briefed back in 1993 by Clinton healthcare gurus Ira Magaziner and Judy Feder. “I sat and listened to them. Since I couldn’t understand their explanation I figured I could never explain it to someone else,” Dorgan said. “This is, in some ways, more complicated than that.”
Excerpt: Not interested in the global warming bill? Count yourself among a lucky few in Washington. The climate change legislation being debated now in the Senate is the Super Bowl for lobbyists, roping in everyone from Alaskan Inupiaqs to venture capitalists. “We’re only this far because of the array of citizen groups, business, labor, environmentalists, religious communities, hunters, anglers, you could go on,” Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) told reporters on Capitol Hill. “It’s this mighty force rising out from the American public.” Scores of niche organizations such as Amazon Watch, which works to defend indigenous Amazonian people from deforestation, and the Military Advisory Board, consisting of 11 retired admirals and generals concerned about the impact of global warming on national security, are lobbying for the bill. The sweeping legislation would impact nearly every aspect of the complicated energy industry, and its effects would reverberate through a huge swath of the American economy. The first test of the legislation came Monday, when the Senate voted 74-14 to open debate. Few lobbyists expect climate change legislation to pass this year. In its current form, it faces an uphill battle in the Senate, as well as a veto threat from the White House.
Excerpt: The Lieberman-Warner cap-and-trade bill is going nowhere. Even in the unlikely event Congress passes it, President Bush has said he will veto the measure, and there aren't nearly enough votes to override. So the real action commences on Jan. 20, 2009, when a new administration takes over. Barack Obama is on record in favor of cap and trade. And so, significantly, is John McCain. In fact, Sen. McCain has been among the strongest backers of the Lieberman-Warner bill. Last October, he said he was "bitterly disappointed" by U.S. inaction on climate change so far. "The Europeans implemented a cap-and-trade system; they stumbled and had their problems, but it is still the right thing to do," he said.
Excerpt: At the core of Lieberman-Warner’s corruption is the trillions of dollars the federal government would raise by forcing American businesses to buy allowances to emit carbon (Obama’s plan taxes U.S. businesses at rates much higher than Lieberman-Warner). The left is using this huge slush fund to buy off enough special interests to get enough votes to pass carbon capping legislation. The Politico reports that: “The climate change legislation being debated now in the Senate is the Super Bowl for lobbyists.
Excerpt: The direction Congress takes on proposals to cap greenhouse gases could depend on coal-rich states such as West Virginia, which has some of the nation's poorest households, but is rich in both coal and political clout. The second-poorest state in the nation based on household income, West Virginia counts on coal to support its economy. West Virginia coal companies are big suppliers to the coal-fired power plants that provide half of the U.S.'s electricity. But coal demand likely would be reduced if Congress votes to put caps on greenhouse-gas emissions and compel companies to buy permits to burn coal or oil. That is putting pressure on West Virginia's senators, Robert Byrd and Jay Rockefeller, both Democrats. Many Democratic Party leaders are pushing for action on climate change as a moral imperative and arguing it will help U.S. competitiveness as well. But with coal accounting for an estimated 8% of West Virginia's general revenue fund, the risks to the state's economy are big enough that the two Democrats may not be willing to fall in line with their party.
CNSNews.com – Dems' Climate Change Tax Will Hurt Poor, Says GOP – June 04, 2008
Excerpt: The Senate takes up a bill to strangle the economy and mortgage your children's future in the name of saving the planet. Hold on to your wallets and your jobs. It's going to be a bumpy ride. The U.S. needs a Domestic Energy Development Act, but what it might get this week is a Climate Security Act that makes human sacrifices of the American people on the altar of the environmental earth goddess, Gaia. As Ben Lieberman of the Heritage Foundation points out, global warming is a concern, not a crisis. We have recently noted scientists who, on the basis of actual observation and not computer models, have said warming stopped in 1998 and will remain dormant at least for the next decade, even as emissions rise. Global warming has been proved to be a natural, cyclical phenomenon determined by natural forces such as ocean currents and solar activity. This bill even ignores the global part, imposing draconian costs on just the American people and economy for marginal and temporary gains. Lieberman states that the bill sponsored by Sen. John Warner, R-Va., and Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., no relation, would cost the U.S. manufacturing sector alone more than 1 million jobs by 2022 and 2 million by 2027. GDP losses could reach $4.8 trillion by 2030. All this pain, he says, would "reduce the Earth's temperature by one- or two-tenths of a degree Celsius — too small to even verify."
Excerpt: Curbing carbon emissions would be better addressed by developing new energy technologies, not by raising taxes, a leader of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says.
Excerpt: As discussion of the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act begins in the Senate, opponents of the bill continue to make the case for why they believe implementation of the bill will negatively affect the U.S. economy. During today's OnPoint, Charles Drevna, president of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, explains why he believes the price of gas will likely go up if this bill passes. Drevna highlights how the Lieberman-Warner bill will affect the petrochemical and refining industries and points to a measure being discussed in the House as a better option for emissions reduction. He also explains why now, considering the current economic climate, is not the best time for the Senate to be taking up the bill.
Excerpt: Republicans argued Tuesday that the bill is a heavy-handed government answer to climate change. The bill would require industry to pay for the right to emit greenhouse gases, which could yield over $6 trillion through 2050 in revenue the government could distribute. Consumers affected by higher energy prices would receive $800 billion in tax rebates. Farms and forests could qualify for $300 billion in aid for conservation programs. The auto industry would receive $68 billion to produce more efficient cars. States that take early action to cut emissions would get $566 billion. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., complained that this new spending would be the "mother of all earmarks." He suspects the bill's sponsors are seeking to win support by "spreading this money around to various interest groups around the country." But sponsors of the bill say the critics don't understand the approach: By putting a price tag on carbon, it would give major emitters a strong incentive to cut emissions, but the flexibility to choose how best to reduce them. The bill also offers more than $1 trillion to industry to shift to low-carbon technologies and energy efficiency.
Excerpt: A recent study from the Natural Gas Council concluded that legislation to be debated this week in the US Senate is likely to increase natural gas demand without addressing the need for increased supply. American Gas Association Pres. David N. Parker was one of several council members to respond to the study's findings. "We take global climate change seriously and believe that natural gas will be a key part of any effective climate change initiative," he said. "Our analysis suggests that achieving the carbon reductions required under S. 3036 [the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act] requires a mix of technologies and energy sources. Our study also found that demand for natural gas could increase by more than 30% by 2030," Parker said.
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WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee commented today on the current Senate dispute over judicial nominations.
“The current impasse over judicial nominations has no bearing on our willingness to debate the Boxer Climate Tax Bill. I look forward to the Senate returning to the Climate Tax Bill after the judiciary issue is resolved so that we can begin the amendment process and discuss the devastating impacts this bill would have on American families and jobs if this bill were to become law.”
WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, commented today on the reading of the entire outline of the global warming bill on the Senate floor following a dispute over judicial nominations.
"While the reading of the entire Boxer Climate Tax Bill is the result of the Democrats’ handling of judicial nominations, it is important to note that the version of the Boxer Substitute that Majority Leader Reid introduced was a new version not seen by the minority until this morning, contrary to Senator Boxer’s assertions," Senator Inhofe said. "This new version, the fourth version in the last two weeks, underscores the not-ready-for-prime-time aspect of this legislation.
"The current impasse over judicial nominations has no bearing on our willingness to debate the Boxer Climate Tax Bill. I look forward to the Senate returning to the bill after the judiciary issue is resolved so that we can begin the amendment process and discuss the devastating impacts this bill would have on American families and jobs if this bill were to become law."
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U.S. Chamber Opposes Climate Bill: 'Massive Federal Bureaucracy' - 'Cost to Taxpayers Hundreds of Billions'
This morning, The United States Chamber of Commerce, representing over 300 million businesses across the nation, released a letter condemning the economic effects of the Lieberman-Warner Climate Bill.
“The bill would create a massive federal bureaucracy by creating more than 300 mandates that must be translated into rules, regulations and reports by the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies, resulting in a multi-stage process for each regulation or mandate that could take years or even decades to implement, result in prolonged litigation, and cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.”
“Unfortunately, the text of the manager’s amendment was not released until only days before Senate consideration of the bill. As a result the Senate will vote on the bill without the benefit of economic analyses of any public or private entity. This legislation has enormous implications for the economy and environmental stewardship; it requires a full airing and robust debate.”
“S.3036 fails to preserve American jobs and the domestic economy, does little to address the international nature of global climate change, and does not sufficiently promote accelerated technology development and deployment.”
The Chamber created a chart summarizing the administrative burden created by S. 3036 available here: LINK
'Significantly Colder' - 16-month temperature drop of -0.774°C!
Global temperatures continued to slide in May 2008. Meteorologist Anthony Watts details the cooling temperatures in a report titled “Global Temperature Dives in May.” The new global temperature data reveals a whopping three quarters of a degree Celsius drop in temperatures since January 2007. Watts reported late yesterday that the cooling is “equal in magnitude to the generally agreed upon ‘global warming signal’ of the last 100 years.”
“Confirming what many of us have already noted from the anecdotal evidence coming in of a much cooler than normal May, such as late spring snows as far south as Arizona, extended skiing in Colorado, and delays in snow cover melting in many parts of the northern hemisphere, the University of Alabama, Huntsville (UAH), published their satellite-derived Advanced Microwave Sounder Unit data set of the Lower Troposphere for May 2008,” Watts reported on June 3.
“It is significantly colder globally, colder even than the significant drop to -0.046°C seen in January 2008,” Watts explained. (The updated global temperature chart is here )
“But even more impressive is the change since the last big peak in global temperature in January 2007 at 0.594°C, giving a 16 month change in temperature of -0.774°C which is equal in magnitude to the generally agreed upon ‘global warming signal’ of the last 100 years,” he added. [Note: MIT Climate Scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen’s March 2008 presentation of data from the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office found the Earth has had “no statistically significant warming since 1995.” (LINK) An April 2008 peer-reviewed study found "global warming will stop." - LINK ]
Climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer, formerly of NASA and currently principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, commented on the new data. “If you exclude the anomalous 1992 cooling from the Pinatubo volcano eruption, it’s the coolest May in 20 years,” Spencer said.
Physicist Dr. Lubos Motl, formerly of Harvard University, also reacted to the new temperature data. “The global anomaly was -0.17 °C, the coldest reading after January 2000 and the third coldest monthly figure after September 1993. Yes, I mean that anomaly-wise, May was even colder than all the cool months of 2008, despite the dramatically weakening La Nina that now seems likely to change to ENSO neutral conditions this month. For example, the month-on-month cooling from April 2008 was by 0.19 °C while May 2008 was more than 0.75 °C cooler than January 2007. The average anomaly for the first five months of 2008 is negative. 1994 was the last year whose average annual anomaly was negative,” Motl wrote on June 4. (LINK)
“The Sun has been spotless at least for 9 days. The standardized May sunspot number was 2.9, equal to April, and the solar flux was even slightly lower than in April, namely 68.4,” Motl wrote. [Note: Even the bees are struggling with colder temperatures. See: "Bees' pollination work stung by cool temps in Michigan" (6-3-08) – Excerpt: The unusually cold May climate, filled with frost warnings and nights dipping into the upper 20s and low 30s, has been preventing some bees from pollinating. - LINK ]
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The Lieberman-Warner global warming cap-and-trade bill has been called many things, but this appears to be the first time it has been called a “huge tax cut.” The reference to the bill as a “big tax cut” was made by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), despite the bill’s being considered the largest tax increase in American history.
“The biggest pieces of this bill, is funds for the American people, a big tax cut. If my [colleague] opposes a tax cut, he ought to say it. It is a huge tax cut for the American people,” Boxer said on the Senate floor on June 3. Boxer also said on Monday, “This bill has one of the largest tax cuts in it that we've seen around this place in a very long time.”
But the Lieberman-Warner bill does 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).
Assuming Congress does devote those funds to the tax relief as intended, families and workers will still have to pay $6.735 trillion into the new bureaucratic system over the next 50 years in the form of higher energy costs to get back $802 billion in tax relief. That’s a return of only $1.00 for every $8.38 paid. Boxer is essentially claiming that taking $6.7 trillion from the American people and giving back only $838 billion is somehow a “big tax cut.”
In reality, the bill represents the largest tax increase in American history. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says the bill would effectively raise taxes on American families by a trillion dollars just over the next 10 years. CBO says “most of that cost would ultimately be passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices for energy and energy-intensive goods and services.”
The Wall Street Journal said on May 27 that the bill “would impose the most extensive government reorganization of the American economy since the 1930s.” (LINK) The Cleveland Plain Dealer said the bill “will just bore new holes into an already battered economy. It also doesn't have a prayer of becoming law.” (LINK) On June 2, the Wall Street Journal further opined: “This is easily the largest income redistribution scheme since the income tax.” (LINK)
Boxer’s claim that the Lieberman-Warner global warming cap-and-trade bill is a “huge tax cut” follows her claim Monday that a “recession is the precise time to" enact the Lieberman-Warner global warming cap-and-trade bill because it “brings us hope.” (LINK)
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Excerpt: Yesterday the U.S. Senate began what it insists on calling "debate" (more like serial dopey speeches designed for home consumption) on the worst piece of legislation introduced into that body in the new century. Perhaps worse than anything in the last century as well. There's nothing good to be said about the disingenuously named Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2008. A better name would be the Let's Destroy the Economy by Turning it Over to Left-Geek Bureaucrats in 2008 Act. The heart of Lieberman-Warner is a cap and trade system that would turn decisions on how much and what kind of energy to use in the private sector over to government. This is the approach, you'll recall, that worked so well in the Soviet Union that that dismal country's first five-year plan lasted 74 years before the whole sorry business caved-in on its own command and control butt. If adopted, this would be the most fundamental change in the nature of this country in the country's history. […] THE REASON A CAP and trade system is such a horrible idea, other than the fact that it would turn America's dynamic and complex economy over to the kind of folks who directed the Katrina relief effort, is that it sets very low levels of use of fossil fuels, the only relatively inexpensive, reliable, and available energy we have in large amounts. The boutique sources of energy like wind, solar, and biomass, the ones that excite environmentalists, just aren't available in more than trifling amounts. And aren't likely to be for years. Restricting the use of fossil fuels for energy would drive the price of everything -- not just gasoline or power to light homes, everything -- up dramatically. We've already seen increases in the price of food thanks to our insane policy of trying to grow our fuel through ethanol and other bio-fuels. If we're daft enough to cap our use of fossil fuels, as environmentalists and their political enablers want us to, we'll first see increased prices, then severe shortages, and finally unavailability of everything else as well. Choking off the use of carbon-based fuels could and would make an utter dog's breakfast of the American economy, which has been the most powerful engine of wealth the world has ever seen. […] WE'VE REACHED the "Do something even if it's wrong" phase. The Senate is seriously considering (seriously as these things are measured in Washington) creating a Department of Not Using Energy and saddling a dynamic and remarkably clean economy with it.
Excerpt: Depending on the outcome, history might look upon this Lieberman-Warner debate as the Boxer-Inhofe face-off. One feels that a near-recession is the perfect time to enact legislation that will drastically raise energy prices; the other sees the bill as a regressive tax that would end up doing the most financial damage to low-income Americans. In her opening remarks Monday, Committee chairperson Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said to her Senate colleagues, “Why do [Lieberman-Warner] now? We’re in a recession. Precisely because we’re in a recession is why we should be doing this. This bill is the first thing that brings us hope.” Isn’t it interesting that Boxer already views the nation in recession despite the gross domestic product having not yet experienced even a single quarter of negative growth let alone the consecutive two required to meet the textbook definition of such economic contraction? Why isn’t it surprising to find that the same folks who ignore scientific facts pertaining to the global warming debate also eschew financial statistics when speaking of the economy? […] Isn’t it fascinating that Boxer expressed similar concerns about posterity at her news conference Monday, as reported by the Associated Press? “It’s about our children, about their children, and about the planet we’ve inherited.” Yes, Senator, but this bill could make it difficult for some Americans to feed their children, a concern curiously shared by the Cleveland Plain Dealer in an editorial published Sunday: “The bill, as conceived, will just bore new holes into an already battered economy.” In fact, even the New York Times recognized the financial problems inherent in this bill, as evidenced by the first paragraph of John M. Broder’s piece published Tuesday: The Senate on Monday opened a raucous debate over climate change legislation even though it will put supporters of the bill, including all three presidential candidates, on the spot — essentially forcing them to come out in favor of high energy costs at a time when American consumers are paying record fuel prices. Yikes. If two left-leaning newspapers — both of which buy into global-warming alarmism hook, line, and sinker — recognize the economic perils inherent in enacting the Climate Security Act, Sen. Boxer is going to have a tough time making her sales pitch stick. Calling Lieberman-Warner “the first thing that brings us hope” is apparently just a tad too audacious.
Even under very conservative assumptions, Lieberman-Warner will cost the US economy 500,000 jobs by 2030. Traditionally union heavy sectors like manufacturing and energy production are the hardest hit. So how did environmental activists get unions like the United Association of Journeymen of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry to support carbon capping? The answer hearkens back to the world’s oldest profession: cold hard cash. Unions are signing on the the Lieberman-Warner bill because it is the largest tax increase in the history of mankind and liberals in Congress can’t wait to give away all that money to their favorite special interests. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) predicts the bill will allow her direct $3.32 trillion by 2050 to whoever she wants. To get unions to sign off on a bill that will kill their existing jobs, liberals in Congress are promising to use US taxpayer dollars to create new jobs just for unions. The Hill reports: “To draw in more labor support, Democratic leaders sweetened the pot. As revised by Senate Environment and Public Works panel Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), the bill now includes language that applies Davis-Bacon, which requires workers be paid a prevailing local wage, to certain projects funded by the bill. It also would direct millions of dollars to “green-collar” training programs run by unions.”
A year after pitting herself against the world's leaders over climate change, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has backed down and gone silent on key environmental policies. It seems that the one opponent she can't bear confronting is the German voter. The German chancellor in Greenland: Once a hero to environmentalists worldwide, Angela Merkel is faltering badly on climate change policy. This is the so-called "climate chancellor?" This woman who, at the International Transport Forum in Leipzig, spoke enthusiastically about the nearby air freight hub, economic growth and the transport of goods? Who suddenly seems awkward and at a loss for words when it comes time to talk about climate protection? Who has stopped offering answers on the subject and only asks questions, like: Does it make sense to subsidize electricity from renewable sources? Is it fair to expect the owners of older cars with high CO2 emissions to pay higher taxes?
Excerpt: Friends of the Earth Action President Brent Blackwelder said, "We appreciate Environment and Public Works Chair Barbara Boxer efforts to debate global warming on the Senate floor, but feel the bill fails the most fundamental test: it doesn’t do what is needed to avoid catastrophic warming. "Groups outside of the traditional environmental community are joining our 'Fix or Ditch' campaign because they stand in support of at least two fundamental principles of any climate legislation — that polluters pay for 100 percent of their pollution credits through auction, and that Congress establish pollution reduction targets in line with the latest science.
Excerpt: The United States Senate is considering a bill that would give the federal government unprecedented control over the U.S. economy. […] The rent seeking opportunities under this system would be immense. Naturally, as Washington assumed these new wealth-allocating powers all economic participants would have a powerful incentive to hire lobbyists to influence policy. An inevitable result would be the suppression of competition as larger more influential companies seek to manipulate the system to their own advantage. If carbon emissions are the threat that so many in Washington D.C. say they are, why not propose a direct tax? Americans would at least be spared the burdens of the labyrinthine cap-and-trade system. A direct tax would also avoid the risks of corruption inherent in the cap-and-trade’s permit allocation process. A carbon tax would be a much more honest and direct way to promote energy-saving and carbon reducing technologies. But simplicity and honesty don't carry much value in the nation's capital. A carbon tax would be too clear and candid for our political masters. Politicians like to tax, but they prefer to tax indirectly, if possible. With the cap-and-trade regime, the government would be imposing a huge tax increase in the guise of permit transactions hidden within a bureaucratic maze. […] Many activists, special interests, and politicians have invested too much political capital to change course and government is always eager to expand its powers. Environmentalism is more than an ideology.
Excerpt: The Senate on Monday opened a raucous debate over climate change legislation even though it will put supporters of the bill, including all three presidential candidates, on the spot — essentially forcing them to come out in favor of high energy costs at a time when American consumers are paying record fuel prices. While the three candidates are on record favoring legislative action on global warming, the Bush administration opposes a far-reaching bill. [. . .] “Any action has to provide real protections for the American economy and jobs, and we must protect the American families,” said Senator James M. Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma. “Any action should not raise the cost of gasoline or energy to American families, particularly the low-income and elderly who are most susceptible to energy costs.”
Excerpt: The Senate began what is expected to be a weeklong, contentious debate Monday over legislation to combat global warming by mandatory reductions in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Senators voted 74-14 to proceed to the bill, but immediately it became clear Republican opponents were not going to make it easy. A request by Democrats to begin considering substantive changes in the bill was blocked by GOP opponents until Wednesday at the earliest. [. . .] Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky called it "a giant tax on virtually every aspect of the economy," and accused Democrats of being "laughably out of touch" in taking up the bill when the country is reeling from $4 a gallon gasoline and other high energy costs. President Bush said at a White House event that the measure amounted to "a huge spending bill fueled by tax increases" and that it "would impose roughly $6 trillion in new costs on the American economy." White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Bush would veto the bill as it stands, but said it seems unlikely the legislation will clear the Senate anyway. The White House maintained the carbon limits would "impose a huge new tax" while demanding "drastic emission cuts that have no chance of being realized and have every chance of hurting our economy."
Excerpt: The White House on Monday slammed legislation the U.S. Senate will consider this week aimed at controlling climate change, arguing it would cut economic growth and lead to soaring gasoline prices. "As you can imagine, our opposition to this will be quite strong and we'll be making these points throughout the week," Keith Hennessey, director of President George W. Bush's National Economic Council, said at a White House forum on the economy and taxes. U.S. gross domestic product could be reduced by as much as 7 percent in the year 2050 and gasoline prices -- already at record highs in the United States-- could soar by as much as 53 cents a gallon by 2030, he said. […] The Bush administration has consistently opposed an across-the-board cap-and-trade program for carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas emitted by fossil-fueled vehicles and coal-fired industries, as well as by natural sources including human breath.
Excerpt: Although many supporters of Lieberman–Warner are quick to call attention to conclusions that show the least negative economic impact, they often fail to mention that the results depend on a massive expansion of nuclear power. For example, as noted by the Environmental Defense Fund, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) analysis concludes that economic growth would be minimally affected by Lieberman–Warner but makes no mention of the fact that this conclusion depends on a broad expansion of nuclear energy. It is not just that nuclear power is needed, but that a massive amount of nuclear power is needed in a relatively short period of time. The EPA analysis assumes a 150 percent increase in nuclear power by 2050. While meeting this demand would require a substantial industrial effort, it is miniscule in comparison to an Energy Information Agency (EIA) analysis that suggests that the U.S. must increase its nuclear capacity by 268 gigawatts of new nuclear power by 2030. These numbers must be put into perspective. The U.S. has 104 operating reactors today with a capacity of approximately 100 gigawatts. New reactors would likely be larger, on average, than existing reactors. Assuming that the average new reactor will produce about 1.3 gigawatts of electric power, the EPA analysis would require nearly 50 new reactors, while the EIA's analysis would require approximately 200 over the next 25 years.
Excerpt: When Ronald Reagan accepted his party’s nomination in 1980, he said that America’s energy policy was based on the sharing of scarcity, and that our great nation had to get to work producing more energy. “Large amounts of oil and natural gas lay beneath our land and off our shores, untouched because the present administration seems to believe the American people would rather see more regulation, taxes and controls than more energy, he said. “It must not be thwarted by a tiny minority opposed to economic growth which often finds friendly ears in regulatory agencies for its obstructionist campaigns.” When Ronald Reagan spoke these words he was describing President Jimmy Carter’s disastrous policies that ransacked family budgets, cost jobs and robbed Americans of hope. They could just as easily be spoken today about the Bush Administration, the Congress, and the candidates vying to become president this election year. On the energy front, it seems, the classically successful principles of less government and more self-initiative been replaced by a myth of resource scarcity and helplessness. Government now, as then, has created a massive energy problem. And now, as then, it wants people to believe it also has the solution. Well, as Reagan put it, “government is not the solution to the problem; government is the problem.” […]America is the Saudi Arabia of oil shale deposits. With the 2 trillion barrels of oil we could extract, the US could run for 250 years on that source alone. Unfortunately, the best deposits lie under nationalized lands in the West, and the Congress passed a law in 2007 making it illegal to lease the lands for energy development. Ditto for our coal resources; the US the Saudi Arabia of coal. Last year, Hollywood’s Henry Waxman slipped a provision into law that will block government – the biggest single user of energy – from buying any alternative fuels made from coal. Germany ran its war machine on the stuff throughout WWII, and South Africa has been making coal into substitute petroleum for decades. We could too, but for our government. Today, America only uses 3% of its offshore areas to produce energy, and only 6% of government lands onshore. The US now imports more oil than ever, produces less oil than it did before WWII, and is sending over half a trillion dollars a year to a lot of people who don’t like what our country stands for. Ronald Reagan’s stand that our nation’s future “should not be thwarted by a tiny minority opposed to economic growth.” Is as true today as it was when he uttered it 28 years ago. That tiny minority has hidden their agenda behind the environment movement and thus grown to control our nation’s energy decisions made in Washington, and it shows in every American’s energy bill.
Excerpt: The supposed purpose is to create an incentive to reduce carbon emissions. But incentive is not the problem. Cost and technology are the problems. Adding banking swindles to the cost does not make the technology more available. It's like increasing a person's incentive to make more money by robbing him in a dark alley. People already have enough incentive to make money. Robbing them only makes it harder for them to succeed. […] Why didn't Californians use less electricity when Enron reduced the supply and increased the price? That's what cap and trade is supposed to do—force people to use less electricity by reducing the supply and increasing the price, just like Enron did.
Excerpt: In an April 2008 white paper entitled, "Natural Gas and Electricity Costs and Impacts on Industry", the U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) reported that opposition to new coal-based power plants is leading to a generation capacity shortage in many areas of the country and endangering U.S. energy security. The opposition is also inducing a "dash to gas" and quickly causing a rise in natural gas prices at a time when federal climate change legislation could immediately lead to a doubling of natural gas consumption for power generation. This legislation would increase the country's dependence on foreign energy sources in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG) causing both natural gas and electricity prices to increase dramatically.
Excerpt: The gas station sticker shock of a holiday weekend should go far in raising public awareness for what many small businesses face every day of the week. And, after the summer driving season, when we start thinking about heating our homes and businesses for the winter, small business face rising energy costs that are far more alarming. Our research shows that small firms with fewer than 50 employees pay 35% more for electricity than their larger industry counterparts. When Congress returns from its own Memorial Day break, I hope they consider the disproportionately high energy and transportation costs faced by American small business owners. We should not be making it harder for small businesses to work their magic on our economy once again. Cost must be a key consideration for how our country tackles its energy needs.
Can we at least all agree that S. 3036, the Lieberman-Warner climate change bill, is all about raising revenues? (Specifically: Title IV, Auctions and Uses of Auction Proceeds.)
Well, then, the bill should not have been introduced in the Senate and it should not be debated there. Unless the U.S. Constitution has no meaning. U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 7. All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, today joined Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Republican Leader, Senator Lamar Alexander, Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference (R-TN), and Senator Kit Bond (R-MO) to discuss how the America's Climate Security Act – S.2191 (Climate Tax Bill), now amended to S. 3036 (Boxer Substitute), would raise gas prices.
“With average gas prices in Oklahoma and the country around $4 a gallon, it may be hard to believe, but the U.S. Senate is considering legislation this week that will further drive up the cost at the pump,” Senator Inhofe said.
“The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the Climate Tax Bill will increase fuel costs an additional 53 cents per gallon by 2030 and $1.40 by 2050.
“Rather than wasting the Senate’s time on legislation that will further drive up the price of gas at the pump and the price of energy in our homes, Congress should be working to solve our nation’s energy crisis. As an energy state, Oklahomans understand that the best way to address soaring energy prices is to take advantage of domestic energy resources such as oil, natural gas, nuclear and wind power, and clean coal technologies. Each is essential to securing an American energy supply that is stable, diverse and affordable.
“I am confident that when the American people learn the facts about the enormous economic burdens of this bill, they will contact their Senators and ask them to oppose the bill. It seems unlikely that as American families face harsh economic times, that any Senator would dare stand on the Senate Floor days from now and vote in favor of significantly increasing the price of gas at the pump and legislation that would cost millions of American jobs.”
Background: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the Climate Tax 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.
For more information on the government studies, visit www.epw.senate.gov/lieberman-warnerbillexposed
Read More About the Economic Impact of Lieberman-Warner on Oklahoma:
WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, commented on the Department of Energy’s filing a license application for construction authorization to build a repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will spend the next three years analyzing the application and public comments.
"Today reflects the achievement of a significant milestone for the Yucca Mountain program," Senator Inhofe said. "Filing this application is the result of more than 25 years of study and contains over 10,000 pages reflecting work by some of the very best scientists and laboratories in the country. I have supported development of a nuclear waste repository for years. I believe it is essential to the rebirth of nuclear energy and to the clean-up of the nuclear wastes resulting from the Cold War. This program will continue to face legal battles and battles for adequate funding. I will continue to do what I can to support the program and help it cope with these challenges.
"When director Ward Sproat accepted leadership of this program two years ago, the Yucca Mountain project was coping with several challenges that threatened the Department’s ability to reach this important milestone. Today’s filing is a testament to his vision, leadership, and management. Our country has benefitted from his exemplary public service and I personally thank him for his efforts."
The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 established a program to locate and develop a repository for nuclear waste, including both defense waste legacy from the Cold War and civilian-spent fuel. The task remains to develop a repository that protects public health and safety and the environment: a permanent solution for our nation’s nuclear waste. Congress has passed laws and resolutions to do it. The government has collected over $27 billion dollars from electricity consumers to pay for it. And courts have affirmed the legal obligation to do it. The NRC's review of the license application is one more step in a long and thorough process.
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Oklahoma agricultural producers are concerned proposed climate change legislation now being debated in the U.S. Senate could increase their cost of production.
By JAMES INHOFE
June 3, 2008
With average gas prices across the country approaching $4 a gallon, it may be hard to believe, but the U.S. Senate is considering legislation this week that will further drive up the cost at the pump.
The Senate is debating a global warming bill that will create the largest expansion of the federal government since FDR's New Deal, complete with a brand new, unelected bureaucracy. The Lieberman-Warner bill (America's Climate Security Act) represents the largest tax increase in U.S. history and the biggest pork bill ever contemplated with trillions of dollars in giveaways. Well-heeled lobbyists are already plotting how to divide up the federal largesse. The handouts offered by the sponsors of this bill come straight from the pockets of families and workers in the form of lost jobs, higher gas, power and heating bills, and more expensive consumer goods.
Various analyses show that Lieberman-Warner would result in higher prices at the gas pump, between 41 cents and $1 per gallon by 2030. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says Lieberman-Warner would effectively raise taxes on Americans by more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years. The federal Energy Information Administration says the bill would result in a 9.5% drop in manufacturing output and higher energy costs.
Carbon caps will have an especially harmful impact on low-income Americans and those with fixed incomes. A recent CBO report found: "Most of the cost of meeting a cap on CO2 emissions would be borne by consumers, who would face persistently higher prices for products such as electricity and gasoline. Those price increases would be regressive in that poorer households would bear a larger burden relative to their income than wealthier households."
The poor already face energy costs as a much higher percentage of their income than wealthier Americans. While most Americans spend about 4% of their monthly budget on heating their homes or other energy needs, the poorest fifth of Americans spend 19%. 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.
Lieberman-Warner will also hinder U.S. competitiveness, transferring American jobs overseas to places where environmental regulations are much more lenient. Instead of working to eliminate trade barriers on clean energy and lower emitting technologies, the bill imposes a "green," tariff-style tax on imported goods. This could provoke international retaliatory actions by our trade partners, threatening our own export markets and further driving up the costs of consumer goods.
My colleague, Sen. George Voinovich (R., Ohio), warned last week that Lieberman-Warner "could result in the most massive bureaucratic intrusion into the lives of Americans since the creation of the Internal Revenue Service." Mandating burdensome new layers of federal bureaucracy is not the solution to America's energy challenges.
This bill is ultimately about certainty. We are certain of the huge negative impact on the economy as detailed by numerous government and private analyses. We are certain of the massive expansion of the federal bureaucracy.
And we are certain the bill will not have a detectable impact on the climate. According to the Environmental Protection Agency's own analysis, by 2050 Lieberman-Warner would only lower global CO2 concentrations by less than 1.4% without additional international action. In fact, this bill, often touted as an "insurance policy" against global warming, is instead all economic pain for no climate gain.
Why are many in Washington proposing a bill that will do so much economic harm? The answer is simple. The American people are being asked to pay significantly more for energy merely so some lawmakers in Washington can say they did something about global warming.
I have been battling global warming alarmism since 2003, when I became chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee. It has been a lonely battle at times, but it now appears that many of my colleagues are waking up to the reality of cap-and-trade legislation.
The better way forward is an energy policy that emphasizes technology and includes developing nations such as China and India. Tomorrow's energy mix must include more natural gas, wind and geothermal, but it must also include oil, coal and nuclear power, which is the world's largest source of emission-free energy. Developing and expanding domestic energy sources will translate into energy security and ensure stable supplies and well-paying jobs for Americans.
Let me end with a challenge to my colleagues. Will you dare stand on the Senate floor in these uncertain economic times and vote in favor of significantly increasing the price of gas at the pump, losing millions of American jobs, creating a huge new bureaucracy and raising taxes by record amounts? The American people deserve and expect a full debate on this legislation.
Mr. Inhofe, a Republican senator from Oklahoma, is ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee.
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), the chairman of the Environment & Public Works Committee, declared in her opening floor speech today that a “recession is the precise time to" enact the Lieberman-Warner global warming cap-and-trade bill because it “brings us hope.”
The Lieberman-Warner global warming bill would have many consequences, but “hope” is not among them. The Cleveland Plain Dealer editorialized on June 1, that the bill "will just bore new holes into an already battered economy." American workers, already suffering from a weakening economy, skyrocketing home energy, and gas prices would face more economic pain under the bill. With average gas prices across the country approaching or at $4 a gallon, the Senate’s global warming “de-stimulus” bill will further drive up the cost at the pump.
Despite these economic woes, Senator Boxer claimed that now is the “precise time” to pass a bill that will raise energy prices. “Why do this [the Lieberman-Warner bill] now? We’re in a recession. Precisely because we’re in a recession is why we should be doing this. This bill is the first thing that brings us hope,” Senator Boxer said during her opening remarks on the Senate floor today.
Here is a sampling of economic government and private economic analyses of the impact of Boxer’s Climate Tax Bill: (LINK)
- Various analyses show that Lieberman-Warner would result in higher prices at the gas pump, between 41 cents and $1 per gallon by 2030.
- The bill would represent the largest tax increase in U.S. history. (LINK)
- The bill would be the biggest pork bill ever contemplated with trillions of dollars in giveaways.
- Science Applications International Corporation SAIC shows that up to 4 million jobs will be lost by 2030 in the U.S. (LINK)
- Manufacturing jobs will be one of the hardest hit sectors as the Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that manufacturing output will decline by up to 9.5% in 2030. This country has already lost 19% of its manufacturing since 2000. (LINK)
- EIA estimates that this bill will result in the loss of nearly 300,000 U.S. jobs by 2020.
- The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that “most of that cost would ultimately be passed on to consumers.” (LINK)
- CBO says Lieberman-Warner would effectively raise taxes on Americans by more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years. (LINK)
- Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio), warned last week that Lieberman-Warner “could result in the most massive bureaucratic intrusion into the lives of Americans since the creation of the Internal Revenue Service.” (LINK)
- The bill would not have a detectable impact on the climate. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s own analysis, by 2050 Lieberman-Warner would only lower global CO2 concentrations by less than 1.4% without additional international action.
- The Wall Street Journal calls it "the most extensive government reorganization of the American economy since the 1930s." (LINK)
- The bill would hinder U.S. competitiveness. It will transfer American jobs overseas where environmental regulations are much more lenient.
S. 3036 – Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act
(Sen. Boxer (D) CA)
The Administration believes that climate change is an important issue and is taking significant domestic and international actions to address it. As Congress debates this important issue, it must recognize that bad legislation would raise fuel prices and raise taxes on Americans without accomplishing the important goals the Administration shares. This debate should be guided by certain core principles and a clear appreciation that there is a right way and a wrong way to approach reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The right way is:
The wrong way, as reflected by S. 3036 and the Boxer Amendment, is:
For these and other reasons stated below, the President would veto this bill.
The Administration is taking serious steps to address climate change. By the end of this Administration, the Federal government will have spent almost $45 billion to support climate change-related programs, with $40 billion in loan guarantees made available to support investments in technologies that will reduce greenhouse gases. Further, the recently enacted Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which generally followed the President's "Twenty in Ten" Initiative, will reduce GHG emissions by billions of tons. Additionally, the Administration is working with all major economies and through the United Nations negotiation process to ensure a new international climate change framework is both environmentally effective and economically sustainable.
At the outset, S. 3036 fails to address the misapplication to GHG emissions of statutes that clearly were not designed specifically to regulate these global emissions, such as the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act. It also fails to align its new mandates with those enacted just five months ago governing fuel economy, alternative fuels production, and energy efficiency. The bill would add to, rather than substitute for, a 30-year patchwork of environmental laws that would impose a great cost on the economy, and would create misallocations of economic resources, statutory conflict and confusion, and perpetual litigation. The bill also permits a State, without any precondition, to impose more stringent GHG emission restrictions, thereby rendering the bill potentially a mere floor to fifty separate regulatory regimes, in which one state could seek to regulate the economies of others.
Legislation on this important issue should balance three goals: address climate change, increase energy security, and facilitate economic growth. This legislation lacks this balance and sacrifices consumer welfare and economic growth for marginal reductions in future global GHG concentrations. Consequently, the impact on consumers from the combination of the high compliance costs and the new tax and spend programs would be enormous. The current national average gasoline price is nearing $4 per gallon. This bill would increase gasoline prices another $0.53 per gallon relative to the expected price in 2030 and another $1.40 per gallon relative to the expected price in 2050. Furthermore, it would increase electricity prices 44 percent in 2030 and 26 percent in 2050. The combined effects of this bill would diminish household disposable income - EPA estimates this bill would reduce a typical American household’s purchases by nearly $1400 in 2030 and as much as $4400 in 2050.
Shrinks the Economy
S. 3036 is likely to severely damage the economy and drive jobs overseas. As an example, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Energy Information Administration have estimated, respectively, that the bill as reported could reduce U.S. Gross Domestic Product by as much as seven percent (over $2.8 trillion) in 2050, and reduce U.S. manufacturing output by almost 10 percent in 2030 -- before even half of the bill's required reductions have taken effect.
Imposes Excessive Regulatory Costs
S. 3036’s approach to reducing greenhouse gases would force drastic and costly emission cuts. EPA estimates the costs necessary to achieve this GHG abatement are on the order of $10 trillion through 2050. This would make S. 3036 by far the single most expensive regulatory bill in our Nation's history. These costs would be passed on to consumers through higher electricity and heating bills and increased gasoline costs. In fact, the abatement costs for this bill are estimated to be approximately three times as much as previous Senate climate bills analyzed by EPA.
Implements a Tax and Spend System
S. 3036 and the Boxer Amendment would, in effect, constitute one of the largest tax and spend bills in our Nation’s history, costing Americans dramatically more than the BTU energy tax proposals rejected by the Congress in 1993. Furthermore, the bill’s inefficient allocation scheme for emission allowances would create arbitrary winners and losers and inefficiently distort economic incentives for production and innovation.
Based on EPA's recent analysis, the bill would raise approximately $6.2 trillion in constant dollars ($11.8 trillion with inflation) through the auction of GHG emission allowances to owners and operators of utilities and factories who would have to purchase allowances to stay in business. In addition, the bill gives away allowances valued at $3.2 trillion for auction by States, foreign governments, and private entities. The cost of purchasing these allowances also would be passed on to consumers as higher prices. This would amount to a regressive "stealth" tax that would hit low and middle income working families hardest.
Expands Mandatory Spending Irresponsibly
This new tax would take funds out of consumers’ wallets to add $2.6 trillion through 2050 in new mandatory, automatic spending, which already consumes 62 percent of the Federal budget. For example, the bill includes $346 billion in entitlement spending on new training and income support programs at the Department of Labor, and $750 billion in new mandatory foreign aid financed by auction revenue and emission allowance giveaways to foreign countries, without any control or oversight through the annual appropriations process.
Creates New Bureaucracies
The bill creates a new Climate Change Technology Board, as a so-called independent agency, with the authority to distribute $750 billion worth of funding and emissions allowances through 2050 to finance various energy efficiency programs. The bill also creates a new International Climate Change Commission, which would have the authority to determine whether foreign countries are taking sufficient action to prevent climate change and to undertake enforcement actions, such as the prohibition of certain imports, as a penalty for countries that do not take sufficient steps. The establishment of these unaccountable entities raises serious constitutional concerns, particularly with respect to the restrictions placed upon the President’s authority to both appoint and remove members of these entities.
Risks Trade Conflicts
The provisions for international reserve allowances would harm efforts to persuade major developing countries to take action to limit their GHG emissions. Reserve allowances effectively impose an import surcharge which would lead to higher prices for U.S. consumers and could lead targeted countries to impose similar restrictions on U.S. exports based on their own unilateral definitions of comparable action. That would result in serious trade conflicts and impose significant costs on the U.S. and global economies. Major developing economies would be less, not more, amenable to make hard choices in international climate negotiations. Thus, these provisions would be counterproductive to U.S. efforts to ensure that all major GHG emitting developing countries commit to concrete national actions to limit emissions. Rather than relying on the prospect of punitive trade sanctions, an effort should be made to foster trade liberalization to promote economic growth and the deployment of clean technologies.
Fails to Achieve Stated Goals
The bill's unilateral approach would jeopardize American competitiveness and drive jobs abroad, often simply relocating greenhouse gas emissions to other countries, rather than reducing them. These steep domestic costs would thus be accompanied by only minuscule changes in global concentrations of greenhouse gases – between 7-10 parts per million (ppm),or 1-2 percent, in 2050, and 25 – 28 ppm, or 3-5 percent, in 2095, as estimated by EPA. For comparison, an increase of 90 ppm would result in roughly a one degree Celsius increase in the global temperature, based on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates.
Expands Davis-Bacon Act
The substitute would expand Davis-Bacon Act prevailing wage requirements to cover several new programs of grants and “rewards” for projects relating to renewable energy, low or zero carbon generation technology, and carbon capture technologies that are authorized under the bill. Such an expansion is contrary to the Administration’s longstanding policy of opposing any expansion of the application of the Davis-Bacon Act’s prevailing wage requirements.
Creates Legal Problems
Several provisions in the bill purport to direct or burden the conduct of foreign relations relating to climate change in a manner inconsistent with the constitutional authority of the President to conduct foreign policy and to safeguard sensitive diplomatic information. In addition, the bill, as amended, would authorize the President to modify any requirement of this bill, for a specified time period, if he determines that a national security, energy security, or economic security emergency exists and that doing so is in the paramount interest of the United States. However, the bill raises practical and constitutional concerns by making the President’s decision subject to legislative and judicial oversight.
* * * * *
Cleveland Plain Dealer: Carbon cap-and-trade bill is going nowhere, for good reason – editorial – June 01, 2008
Excerpt: The bill, as conceived, will just bore new holes into an already battered economy. It also doesn't have a prayer of becoming law. [...] the bill's supporters evince crass disregard for the economic realities of hard-hit manufacturing states. [...] Yet the hammer-and-tong approach of the Senate bill - originally sponsored by Democrat Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Republican John Warner of Virginia and recently tweaked by Democrat Barbara Boxer of California - lacks even a semblance of balance. Coal-dependent states with partially deregulated energy prices - Ohio, for instance - would take a double hit in economic dislocations and electricity price spikes, with barely any financial cushions to make the disruptions more palatable. The bill also lacks the kind of consumer fairness and flexibility necessary to avoid fuel-price shocks and damage to manufacturing nationwide. Those who have watched the Europeans' cap-and-trade system deteriorate into a nightmare of bureaucratic costs, nonsensical investments in outdated factories in China and puzzling price spikes in which the utilities were the only clear winners can be excused for scratching their heads over why cap-and-trade remains the "only" idea worth pursuing. Surely there are less cumbersome, more equitable ways of making carbon emissions more expensive, and thus spurring investment in new technologies, without breaking the banks of both small-town and industrial Ohio.
Excerpt: Ms. Boxer expects to scoop up auction revenues of some $3.32 trillion by 2050. Yes, that's trillion. Her friends in Congress are already salivating over this new pot of gold. The way Congress works, the most vicious floor fights won't be over whether this is a useful tax to create, but over who gets what portion of the spoils. In a conference call with reporters last Thursday, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry explained that he was disturbed by the effects of global warming on "crustaceans" and so would be pursuing changes to ensure that New England lobsters benefit from some of the loot. Of course most of the money will go to human constituencies, especially those with the most political clout. [...] The Senator estimates that the value of the handouts totals $3.42 trillion. For those keeping track, that's more than $6.7 trillion in revenue handouts so far. The bill also tries to buy off businesses that might otherwise try to defeat the legislation. Thus carbon-heavy manufacturers like steel and cement will get $213 billion "to help them adjust," while fossil-fuel utilities will get $307 billion in "transition assistance." No less than $34 billion is headed to oil refiners. Given that all of these folks have powerful Senate friends, they will probably extract a larger ransom if cap and trade ever does become law.Grist: Climate Bill’s $6.7 Trillion carbon credits ‘Feels a bit like Monopoly money’ –May 21, 2008
Excerpt: Barbara Boxer distributed this breakdown detailing how the dolla billz will be spent in her proposed amendment to the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act. There are more than $6.7 trillion in carbon credit allowances and auction revenues that will be distributed over the life of the bill, and this shows where that goes. Feels a bit like Monopoly money, doesn't it?
Excerpt: The White House on Monday slammed legislation the U.S. Senate will consider this week aimed at controlling climate change, arguing it would cut economic growth and lead to soaring gasoline prices. "As you can imagine, our opposition to this will be quite strong and we'll be making these points throughout the week," Keith Hennessey, director of President George W. Bush's National Economic Council, said at a White House forum on the economy and taxes. U.S. gross domestic product could be reduced by as much as 7 percent in the year 2050 and gasoline prices -- already at record highs in the United States-- could soar by as much as 53 cents a gallon by 2030, he said. The legislation the Senate will debate, which is not expected to become law this year amid a presidential election, could cut total U.S. global warming emissions by 66 percent by 2050, according to a summary of the measure. U.S. greenhouse gas emissions would drop by about 2 percent per year between 2012 and 2050, based on 2005 emission levels, under the measure. The bill would cap carbon emissions from 86 percent of U.S. facilities, and emissions from those would be 19 percent below current levels by 2020 and 71 percent below current levels by 2050, according to a summary of the bill's details released by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. The Bush administration has consistently opposed an across-the-board cap-and-trade program for carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas emitted by fossil-fueled vehicles and coal-fired industries, as well as by natural sources including human breath.
Excerpt: Former Congressman Pat Toomey, now of the Club for Growth, mentioned on the Cavuto Business Hour that green pressure groups might receive some part of the trillions of dollars that Lieberman-Warner will extract from the productive sector of the economy by the energy taxes found in that bill. He specifically claimed that greens might receive allocations of ration coupons, along with organized labor and other favored groups, which they could then sell. Lieberman-Warner’s champions claim that the revenues raised by the bill will be steered toward refunds to consumers paying increased energy costs. (In which case, why not offer a revenue-neutral carbon tax instead? Too transparent?) Even if the greens aren’t directly given ration coupons to sell, there is always the danger of slush funds in schemes like this, whereby some of the revenues raised by the bill might indirectly find their way to the greens. Either way, if true, it would of course be explosive. A full reading of Lieberman-Warner’s details shows that the latter form of green subsidy is in fact envisioned, and presented below. This reveals at least one form of energy-tax funded underwriting of green groups and their various franchisees to do what they do — only under Lieberman-Warner, it would be on your dime, whether you like it or not. A small provision tucked deep into the bill creates a revenue stream for them to train other countries on how to agitate against the U.S., seek their own U.S. taxpayer-provided rents, and otherwise advocate for the green agenda:
Excerpt: Consumers are already struggling with gasoline approaching $5 a gallon and other utility costs that have been moving steadily higher for the past few years. New mandates placed on producers in the name of "global warming" will only make matters worse. Even those who worship at the church of global warming agree that many Americans might not be eager to cap emissions if they realized the price. "This debate is going to be mostly about costs," Daniel Lashoff, director of the Climate Center at the Natural Resources Defense Council, told The Associated Press. "But we want to make sure in that debate we don't forget that the cost of inaction on global warming would be much higher than the cost of the emission reductions called for in this bill." In fact, Mr. Lashoff knows that this bill will do little -- if anything -- to actually impact any warming trend. In a paper for the Heritage Foundation, Ben Lieberman notes that "a number of economists, including many who are far from global warming skeptics, warn of overly aggressive cap and trade measures imposing costs exceeding the benefits. In other words, the costs of implementing such measures would be higher than the value of the global warming damage that they would prevent." In reality, this legislation is a Trojan horse that will impose strict federal command-and-control regulations on the economy -- for which consumers will pay billions over the coming decade.
Excerpt: But there is a group of people conspiring to make energy more expensive for Americans. That group is the U.S. Senate, and this week it will debate a bill that would impose a cap-and-trade system on greenhouse-gas emissions. By rationing the use of fossil fuels, the bill would lead to higher coal, natural-gas, and petroleum prices, even though the prices of those commodities are already at historic highs. Everybody knows about oil prices; less well known is that the price of natural gas recently reached its highest point since Hurricane Katrina disrupted supplies in September of 2005. Coal prices have tripled in the past year due to global shortages. In short, now would be an exceptionally bad time for Congress to make energy more expensive. Yet that is precisely what the cap-and-trade bill sponsored by Sens. Joseph Lieberman and John Warner would do. Under a cap-and-trade system, a company can only emit greenhouse gases up to a certain limit (the “cap”). If it exceeds that limit, it must purchase allowances, either from the government or from other companies that are under their limits (the “trade”). […] By contrast, the EIA estimates that the Lieberman-Warner bill would depress U.S. GDP by up to 1 percent a year by 2030. The bill’s supporters are asking Americans to sacrifice a lot of jobs and money up front to stave off a theoretical future crisis that wouldn’t be that much worse.
Excerpt: The tradeoff: the economy or the environment? There’s no free lunch. A bigger emissions cut will cost more than a smaller cut. It will raise energy prices more, it will require more-expensive technology, it will deepen concerns about U.S. economic competitiveness against developing countries, like China, that haven’t committed to emission caps. There are myriad studies about how much all this will cost the economy, but fundamentally the debate here is over where to draw this line. Should the bill err on the side of giving companies carbon-price certainty, as carbon-tax proponents want, or on the side of slashing emissions hard, as environmental groups want? Complex price-control mechanisms in the Boxer amendment to the bill attempt to strike a balance. Expect big pressure to shift it. Nothing much will happen. With gasoline prices nearing $4 a gallon as the summer driving season approaches, and with a presidential election five months away, essentially nobody expects the Senate now to actually pass climate legislation, because doing so would push up the energy prices that voters pay. This week’s fight on the Hill is about establishing talking points for the election – and battle lines for the real policy fight expected in 2009 or 2010. There will be lots of atmospherics this week, but they’ll probably have little effect on the atmosphere.
Excerpt: The Senate is meanwhile debating the Lieberman-Warner bill, which would deliberately tax gasoline and every other fossil fuel more and more heavily until we stop using them. That’s to “save us” from global warming. [...] The crowning irony is that NASA now says the Pacific Ocean has entered a 25–30 year cooling phase. The last time this happened was from 1940–1975, when we had moderate, erratic global cooling. The climate science shows a 79 percent correlation between our temperatures and sunspots but no correlation with CO2. This means CO2 cannot be the dominant factor in our climate. So the high gas prices, the reliance on foreign oil, the loss of American jobs in the oil and coal and potential jobs in the nuclear fields are all for naught.
National Review Online: Hyperbole, Thy Name Is Boxer – June 01, 2008
Excerpt: Hyperbole, Thy Name Is Boxer[Chris Horner] Speaking of giving things a bad name, check out Senate Environment Committee Chair Barbara Boxer’s hyperbole in the Democratic radio address on Saturday: “The fact is that the overwhelming majority of scientists say that the earth is in peril if we don’t act now. They’ve [remember, “they” are “the overwhelming majority of scientists”] told us clearly that more than 40 percent of God's creatures could face extinction if we don't act now. They’ve [again, that’s “the overwhelming majority of scientists”] told us of more intense weather events if we don't act now.” Actually, the number of scientists on record in support of the alarmist case is a fraction of those who have gone on record, however one divines relevant opinion. She continued: “And military leaders have told us that unchecked global warming will lead to severe conflict and war as droughts, floods and rising sea levels create huge numbers of desperate refugees.” Military leaders . . . saying this will happen. This presumably refers to Hugo Chávez, who teamed with several of his ilk to champion Kyoto as a social-justice measure to remedy the North-South wealth disparity.
Newspapers around the country speak out against Lieberman-Warner
LAS VEGAS REVIEW JOURNAL: “Consumers are already struggling with gasoline approaching $5 a gallon and other utility costs that have been moving steadily higher for the past few years. New mandates placed on producers in the name of ‘global warming’ will only make matters worse.” (Editorial, “Global Warming? Hold On To Your Wallets,” Las Vegas Review Journal, 06/02/08)
THE PLAIN DEALER: “The bill, as conceived, will just bore new holes into an already battered economy.” (Editorial, “Carbon Cap-And-Trade Bill Is Going Nowhere, For Good Reason,” The Plain Dealer [Cleveland, OH], 06/01/08)
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW: “If there indeed is a second Great Depression to come, this will be the government measure that guarantees it arrives with a devastating gut punch.” (Editorial, “The Climate Security Act?: Reject The Ignorami,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 06/01/08)
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: “The Senate debate on the climate bill probably will focus on its impact on energy prices and the economy, which in the short run could be considered significant.” (“Senate Taking Up Key Climate-Change Bill,” The San Francisco Chronicle, 06/02/08)
THE VIRGINIA PILOT: “Would the cost of allowances be passed on to consumers in the form of higher energy prices? Yes. The U.S. energy information agency estimates that the additional annual cost of electricity could reach $325 per household by 2020.” (“Q&A: The Climate Security Act,” The Virginia Pilot, 06/02/08)ASSOCIATED PRESS: “With gasoline at $4 per gallon and home heating and cooling costs soaring, it is getting harder to sell a bill that would transform the country's energy industries and - as critics will argue - cause energy prices to rise even more.” (“Economic Cost Drives Senate Climate Debate,” AP, 06/01/08)
WALL STREET JOURNAL: “This is easily the largest income redistribution scheme since the income tax.” (Editorial, “Cap And Spend,” The Wall Street Journal, 06/02/08)
NEW YORK POST: “[T]he only thing it will cool is the US economy. In effect, the bill would impose an average of more than $80 billion in new energy taxes every year.” (“Cap & Trade: Why It’s Tax & Spend,” The New York Post, 06/02/08)
ROBERT SAMUELSON: “…let’s call it by its proper name: cap-and-tax.” (“Just Call It ‘Cap-And-Tax,’” The Washington Post, 06/02/08)
GEORGE WILL: “Speaking of endless troubles, ‘cap-and-trade’ comes cloaked in reassuring rhetoric about the government merely creating a market, but government actually would create a scarcity so that government could sell what it had made scarce.”(“Carbon’s Power Brokers,” The Washington Post, 06/01/08)
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: “There's no greater social power than the power to ration. And, other than rationing food, there is no greater instrument of social control than rationing energy, the currency of just about everything one does and uses in an advanced society.” (“Carbon Chastity,” The Washington Post, 05/30/08)
HUMAN EVENTS: “It will significantly increase the price Americans pay for gasoline and electricity. ‘Cap and trade’ is an economy-killer.” (“Senate Boondoggling On Global Warming,” Human Events, 06/02/08)
THE HILL: “A bill that the senate will debate after Memorial Day could add about 50 cents to the price of a gallon of gasoline, according to a study.” (“Warner-Lieberman Bill Could Raise Gas Prices,” The Hill, 05/19/08)
WALL STREET JOURNAL: Boxer climate tax bill “would impose the most extensive government reorganization of the American economy since the 1930s.” (Editorial, “Climate Reality Bites,” The Wall Street Journal, 05/27/08)
INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY: “The bill essentially limits how much gasoline and other fossil fuels Americans can use, as Klaus puts it, ‘in the name of the planet.’ A study by Charles River Associates puts the cost (in terms of reduced household spending per year) of Senate Bill 2191 at $800 to $1,300 per household by 2015, rising to $1,500 to $2,500 by 2050. Electricity prices could jump by 36% to 65% by 2015 and 80% to 125% by 2050.” (Editorial, “The Carbon Curtain,” Investor’s Business Daily, 05/29/08)
FORBES: “Kennedy and other skeptics say ‘cap-and-trade’ is little more than a tax on energy. True enough: market-based or not, the government would mandate that emitters pay for something they essentially do for free now.” (“Cap And Trade Comes To Congress,” Forbes, 06/02/08)
In Case You Missed It...Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Editorial: The Climate Security Act?: Reject the ignorami (June 1, 2008)
If there indeed is a second Great Depression to come, this will be the government measure that guarantees it arrives with a devastating gut punch.
The U.S. Senate returns to session this week and will take up something deceptively labeled "America's Climate Security Act of 2008." It's a bill designed to combat man-made global warming.
But anybody with a brain should be able to understand that the only thing this bill would "secure" would be our national demise.Not only is it one of those sadly classic bureaucratic "solutions" in search of a problem, it is a sad exercise in the ecocratic ignorami pushing command economics in the name of free markets.
As Pat Toomey, the former Pennsylvania congressman who heads The Club for Growth, notes, "Americans can look forward to fewer jobs, lower income levels, rising electricity prices and higher fuel bills."
If that's not attractive enough, how about the real kicker of "America's Climate Security Act of 2008"? It will do virtually nothing about the greenhouse gases it supposedly is designed to reduce.
Thankfully, this proposal is not a slam-dunk in the Senate. It's not yet "filibuster-proof." That could change, however, if the ignorami rush the bandwagon.
But this bill has nothing to do with aiding the climate. It has everything to do with the government gaining ever more control of an economy that it, in large part, already is responsible for damping. America's security depends on its rejection.
Sampling of Latest News on Lieberman-Warner
Excerpt: From higher electric bills to more expensive gasoline, the possible economic cost of tackling global warming is driving the debate as climate change takes center stage in Congress. Legislation set for Senate debate Monday would require a reduction in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from power plants, refineries, factories and transportation. The goal is to cut heat-trapping pollution by two-thirds by midcentury. With gasoline at $4 per gallon and home heating and cooling costs soaring, it is getting harder to sell a bill that would transform the country's energy industries and - as critics will argue - cause energy prices to rise even more.
Excerpt: As currently written, Lieberman-Warner might fall short of a 50-vote majority in the Senate, let alone the 60 votes required to close debate, insiders say. [...] An influential coalition of Fortune 500 companies and environmental groups that was formed to support climate-change legislation has splintered over the Lieberman-Warner bill that is headed next week to the Senate floor. [...] But other members of the coalition known as U.S. Cap, most visibly Duke Energy (DUK, Fortune 500), a coal-burning utility, are strongly opposed. "It's going to translate into significant electricity price increases," says Jim Rogers, Duke's CEO. Without widespread corporate support, passage of the bill - already a long shot at best - becomes even more unlikely this year. President Bush remains opposed. House Democrats have been slow to act. Besides that, a backdrop of rising gasoline prices and the sluggish economy makes it difficult to win votes for a regulatory scheme that will raise the prices of electricity and gasoline. In fact, a key purpose of the bill is to put a price on the emissions of greenhouse gases, as a way to speed the transition to a clean-energy economy and slow down global warming.
Excerpt: All of this has left opponents of the bill, such as Environment and Public Works ranking member and global warming skeptic James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), gloating. Andrew Wheeler, the panel's GOP staff director, said in an interview that Republicans will not filibuster the bill this week because they relish the chance to offer amendments highlighting the bill's effect on energy costs. "People are looking at this; they're seeing that it's going to do destructive things to energy prices and gasoline prices," Wheeler said. […] More than a dozen key senators -- including freshmen Democrats Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Claire McCaskill (Mo.) and Jon Tester (Mont.) -- have yet to endorse the bill. And Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), who supports the bill, is staying neutral rather than pushing recalcitrant members of his caucus to back it. "Generally, I believe that global warming is a serious issue and that we need to address it," said Dorgan, whose state produces lignite coal as well as wind power. But he added that he is still "digesting" the complicated bill, which he fears would not do enough to spur technology that would enable the country to continue burning coal. "We thought and hoped we'd be in a more serious place, but most people are using it as an opportunity to vet ideas and advance ideas for the debate to come in the next Congress," said Tim Profeta, who directs Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. "Not many people see this as a serious piece of legislation that will become law this year."
An unprecedentedly radical government grab for control of the American economy will be debated this week when the Senate considers saving the planet by means of a cap-and-trade system to ration carbon emissions. The plan is co-authored (with John Warner) by Joe Lieberman, an ardent supporter of John McCain, who supports Lieberman's legislation and recently spoke about "the central facts of rising temperatures, rising waters and all the endless troubles that global warming will bring." Speaking of endless troubles, "cap-and-trade" comes cloaked in reassuring rhetoric about the government merely creating a market, but government actually would create a scarcity so that government could sell what it had made scarce. The Wall Street Journal underestimates cap-and-trade's perniciousness when it says the scheme would create a new right ("allowances") to produce carbon dioxide and would put a price on the right. Actually, because freedom is the silence of the law, that right has always existed in the absence of prohibitions. With cap-and-trade, government would create a right for itself-- an extraordinarily lucrative right to ration Americans' exercise of their traditional rights.
Excerpt: Opponents of the bill, including Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, could stop the Senate from even considering it, since it will take 60 votes to begin the debate. But they're not expected to slow it down at first, preferring instead to have a debate about the massive changes to the nation's energy production and usage that would result from the bill. Inhofe spokesman Matt Dempsey said, "Senator Inhofe supports a full and open debate on the merits of the bill and is confident that when his colleagues examine the facts about the enormous economic burdens this bill will impose on the American people, they, too, will oppose it.”
Excerpt: UK CO2 emissions rise faster than EU average despite carbon-trading schemeDavid Charter, Europe Correspondent Britain pumped out more greenhouse gases last year under the EU carbon trading scheme designed to cut emissions, according to figures released in Brussels. The British increase was 2.2 per cent. There was an overall increase across Europe of 0.68 per cent, or 16million tonnes of CO2. Emissions rose in ten of the EU's 27 countries, including Germany and Spain, despite the scheme's target to cut CO2 by a fifth by 2020. Ministers argued that the extra 5.4 million tonnes of CO2 produced in Britain could be more than explained by 59 organisations joining the trading scheme, in which polluters are given carbon credits and forced to buy more if they emit beyond their allocation. They added that when the scheme is revamped next year, there will be tougher controls on the number of credits available. Phil Woolas, the Environment Minister, said that without the new entrants into the scheme, emissions would have gone down by 2.9 million tonnes. “Companies are taking their responsibilities seriously and carbon reduction and trading has become a normal part of their business,” he said. RELATED LINKS Drax to burn imported wood to cut CO2 emissions An apple a day? Britons throw 4½ million away Carbon trading turns City green But environmental campaigners said that the figures, combined with plans for more coal-fired power stations, showed that the carbon-trading scheme was not tough enough to meet reduction targets. “The only thing that matters is how much CO2 is going into the atmosphere,” said Robin Oakley, head of Greenpeace's climate campaign. “It does not sound credible to call the emissions-trading scheme a success when we have seen a proposal for a new coal-fired power station in Kent. It is not sending a strong enough signal to the power companies.” Stavros Dimas, the EU Environment Commissioner, said that the rise in emissions was below the 2.8 per cent rise in Europe's GDP last year. “Emissions trading is yielding results,” he said. “Studies show that emissions would most likely have been significantly higher without the EU emission trading scheme.” The biggest rises in tonnage of CO2 in 2007 came in Germany (up 8.99 million tonnes), Spain (up 6.79 million tonnes), Britain (up 5.42 million tonnes) and Czech Republic (up 4.21 million tonnes). Yesterday a committee of MPs told the Government to go ahead with a system of personal “carbon credits”. Under the scheme everybody would be given an annual carbon limit. Anyone who wanted to spend more could buy extra credits from low-carbon emitters. The Environmental Audit Committee said it would be more effective than green taxes and would promote behavioural change. It admitted that there would be strong public opposition but urged the Government to be courageous.
Excerpt: Thanks to the aggressive timing of greenhouse gas reduction targets in the Warner-Lieberman bill--which the Senate will start to debate Monday--that calls for 2005 carbon emission levels starting in 2012, the U.S. can anticipate a massive switch from coal to natural gas by the power industry. More critically, the bill, which also calls on companies to reduce their carbon emissions by about 66% by 2050, will drive up both the demand and the price of natural gas (a low-carbon alternative) to unprecedented levels, which will in turn further erode the number of U.S. manufacturing jobs. Limited natural gas supply capacity will pit power-sector purchases in direct competition with demand from the residential, commercial and farm sectors. The problem with the bill, which was originally sponsored by Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., is this: Simply setting a cap on carbon emissions does nothing to remove the barriers to greater natural gas supply. There is nothing in the bill that will stop a potential national crisis--one that is already getting underway--as companies struggle to obey these carbon constraints. The lack of low-carbon energy alternatives for power generation (at least until new nuclear and coal-fired power plants with carbon capture to reduce emissions become more commonplace) means that natural gas is the default low-carbon energy option. In fact, none of the potential low-carbon energy alternatives except natural gas will be available by 2012, the year the bill first imposes these stringent limits. Energy efficiency and conservation will be helpful, but those measures will not prevent the crisis that will ensue when companies are forced to decrease their emissions. Because natural-gas-fired power generation is setting the marginal price for electricity in a growing portion of the country, as natural gas prices go up, so will the price of electricity.
Excerpt: The United States Senate will soon begin debate on America's Climate Security Act of 2007, popularly referred to as the Lieberman-Warner bill after its chief sponsors, Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and John Warner (R-VA).The legislation ostensibly is intended to cut U.S. industrial emissions of greenhouse gases in an effort to reduce the risk of catastrophic global warming. Senator Lieberman has estimated the bill would reduce overall U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by up to 63% by 2050.1 The policies the legislation would impose, however, have little hope of meeting this target and would likely have little impact on the climate even if it did.Lieberman-Warner would, however, significantly slow the U.S. economy and increase the cost of energy and consumer products. It also would disrupt international commerce. BackgroundAmerica's Climate Security Act of 2007 (S. 2191) was introduced in the Senate on October 18, 2007 by Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and John Warner (R-VA). The bill states as its purpose: "[P]rompt, decisive action is critical, since global warming pollutants can persist in the atmosphere for more than a century." Congress is demanding "prompt, decisive action" even though there is still disagreement among scientists about the level, cause and consequences of global warming. On May 19, 2008, for example, Dr. Arthur Robinson of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine announced that more than 31,000 scientists had signed a petition rejecting the theory of human-caused global warming. A significant number of scientists, climatologists and meteorologists have expressed doubt about the danger of global warming and whether or not humans are having a significant impact for the worse on the climate. Others, including renowned scientists, have suggested that there are approaches to deal with global warming that would not necessitate slowing the economy.S. 2191 was approved by the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee on December 5, 2007 in an 11-8 vote. On May 21, a substitute bill incorporating America's Climate Security Act, S. 3036, was
Financial Times: UK's Gordon Brown: Higher energy prices are a 'legitimate' way to cut greenhouse gas emissions. May 30, 2008
Excerpt: Could Prime Minister Stephen Harper or Environment Minister John Baird please explain what they mean when they say Canada continues to be a participant in the Kyoto accord? How can we be a participant when the PM has said we cannot do what Kyoto requires of us -- lower our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by an average of 6% below 1990 levels between now and 2012? We're 29.1% above our Kyoto target. Achieving that target is the point of Kyoto. So what, exactly, are we participating in? Yes, the Liberals are hypocrites for ratifying Kyoto and then doing zilch to implement it.
Excerpt: SO-CALLED "green" taxes are a con. They have absolutely nothing to do with saving the planet, or changing people's behaviour. It is all about raising revenue. Governments around the world have realised that environmentalism gives them an easy way of squeezing yet more tax out of hard-working people. And if you object, you are supposed to feel guilty about drowning polar bears. "Green" taxes also impact most heavily on the poor. This isn't an accident, it is a deliberate policy. Take, for example, motoring. The only way of reducing the numbers of cars is by forcing the less-affluent off the roads. This is what increases in fuel duty and car tax are partly designed to achieve. Of course, some people will simply give up driving, but for many, they have little choice – particularly those with large families, or who live in a rural area, or who need a car to get to work. Tough, say the environmentalists, pay up and stop moaning. Think of the polar bears.Same with air travel. The green agenda is to stop the less-affluent from flying by making it so expensive that only the rich can afford it.
Excerpt: "This is just a money grab," said James E. Rogers, the chief executive of Duke Energy. Rogers says he supports a cap-and-trade system but argues that this bill raises too much revenue from coal users while diverting too much of it to other purposes. "Only the mafia could create an organization that would skim money off the top the way this legislation would skim money off the top," he said. Duke, with customers in Ohio, Indiana and the Carolinas, relies heavily on coal-fired plants.