Climate Bills Will 'Require a Wholesale Transformation of the Nation's Economy and Society'
November 6, 2007
Posted by Marc Morano - Marc_Morano@EPW.Senate.Gov - 1:43 PM
Climate Bills Will 'Require a Wholesale Transformation of the Nation's Economy and Society'A Washington Post article today stated that the Democrats' current global warming proposals "will require a wholesale transformation of the nation's economy and society." The article by Post staff writer Juliet Eilperin noted that Democrat presidential candidates' climate proposals would "cost billions of dollars," and detailed exactly what the American people will face when it comes to cap-and-trade proposals. (LINK) [Note: Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), the co-author of the Lieberman-Warner cap-and-trade bill, conceded last week that his bill would cost "hundreds of billions of dollars." LINK Others are concerned the real cost will be even higher, in the trillions of dollars. ]
The Post article cited an MIT expert who said climate proposals would drive up the costs of energy on already overburdened American families.
"According to energy expert Tracy Terry's analysis of a recent Massachusetts Institute of Technology study, under the scenario of an 80 percent reduction in emissions from 1990 levels, by 2015 Americans could be paying 30 percent more for natural gas in their homes and even more for electricity. At the same time, the cost of coal could quadruple and crude oil prices could rise by an additional $24 a barrel," the article reported.
'A massive corporate windfall'
Even the Democratic candidates are now fully admitting that the cost of these global warming bills will be extremely costly both financially and politically, according to the Washington Post article.
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill) told a crowd in Iowa in October "there's going to be some costs, and we can't pretend like there's a free lunch."
"I'd be the first to tell you: This is not necessarily the greatest political calculation," Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards acknowledged, according to the article. Edwards has also come out in strong opposition to the Lieberman-Warner bill, calling it "a massive corporate windfall" on November 1. (LINK)
These new climate proposals come at a time when a "winter-heating crisis looms," according to the November 5th edition of the Wall Street Journal.
"As fuel prices surge to new records, lawmakers are trying to limit a potential crisis that could leave many of the Northeast's poor without adequate heating this winter," the Wall Street Journal stated. (LINK)
'Benefits too little to bother'
Other newspapers are realizing the stark choice Americans face under these climate proposals.
The Colorado Springs Gazette today laid out the choices this way: "Impose costly, probably ineffective government dictates, or concede costs are too great and benefits too little to bother. Some are rethinking rash acts. An article in the British environmental journal Nature last month said it's time to dump the Kyoto Protocol because it's the wrong approach and has ‘failed' to cut greenhouse gases. The London School of Economics and Oxford authors also said carbon taxes and so-called cap-and-trade systems won't achieve reductions, either." (LINK)
The paper continued: "Meaningful CO2 reductions would negatively affect a large part of the economy, Alan Greenspan writes in his new book, The Age of Turbulence. Any meaningful reduction cap means a ‘large number of companies will experience cost increases that make them less competitive. Jobs will be lost, and real incomes of workers constrained.'"
The Colorado Springs Gazette concluded: "The Congressional Budget Office says consumers would pay most costs. Of course they would; consumers pay for everything in one way or another. The Free Enterprise Education Institute think tank forecasts an economic contraction that will cost each U.S. family $10,800 by 2020. ‘Cap-and-trade systems or carbon taxes are likely to be popular only until real people lose real jobs as their consequence,' Greenspan writes."
Rising Energy Costs Harm Poor
Other news outlets have detailed how the poor face the most harmful impacts from rising energy costs. A 2006 survey of Colorado homeless families with children found that high energy bills were cited as one of the two main reasons they became homeless. (LINK)
Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) summed up his opposition to the Lieberman-Warner bill in October. "Senators are going to be asking the American people to pay more for home energy and pay higher prices at the gas pump for no climate benefit. This bill will simply result in real economic pain, for no climate gain," Senator Inhofe, the Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said. (LINK)
# # #