Thank you for agreeing to hold this and next Tuesday’s legislative hearings on S.2191 after we sent you a letter complaining about the lack of process in the rush to pass this bill out of Committee. But it is not enough. We have yet to see any analysis from the Administration on the costs or benefits of this bill. We have yet to have your staff and those of the sponsors sit down with the staff of all the other offices on the Committee to walk through our concerns. The ability of stakeholders to comment has been limited. But it does allow us to engage in the beginnings of what I hope will be a deliberative process going forward.
On the substance of this bill, I am very concerned. As this chart shows and as we will hear today, the Kyoto Protocol cap-and-trade scheme has been a complete failure, with only two countries expected to meet their targets. Of course, some people try to defend the accord, but nobody believes them anymore – not even European environmentalists. Why would we want to adopt what is one of the biggest economic and policy failures of modern times? Is it credible for supporters to say “Sure, it’s failed to reduce emissions or protect Europe’s economy, but we think we can tweak it to work?” Is it really wise to bet our children’s future on a policy we know will achieve nothing?
EPA’s October 1st analysis shows that emissions reductions in the range contemplated in this bill will only reduce global greenhouse gas concentrations by about four percent – that’s right, four percent! In the meantime, the world’s leading producer of coal – China – has turned from a net exporter to net importer of coal and is building three new coal plants a week. India’s economy is also exploding. Officials in both countries have been extremely clear that they have no intention of slowing their growth out of concern over global warming.
Yet supporters of putting the brakes on our own economy say that our leadership will encourage these other countries to follow us down this self-destructive path.
I am gratified that, even though we have yet to receive an Administration analysis of this bill, we do have some credible analysts with us here today to discuss the impacts of this bill. And the impacts will be terrible – climbing steadily until costs reach up to a $1 trillion per year and 2 million jobs lost within the 8 years.
The fact is that this bill ignores we are a growing economy with a growing population. It would be extremely costly to the economy to flatten emission growth, let alone cut emissions 70 percent.
This bill does nothing to protect Americans from spiking natural gas prices and lost jobs that will go to the emerging nations which will emit more greenhouse gases.
Madame Chairman, it is unfortunate that a bill this important, this costly, and I would add, this disastrous to our way of life, would be pushed through the Committee process without any real examination simply to score political points at a UN conference. I think the American deserves more from Congress.