Senator Inhofe Exposes Costly Global Warming 'Solutions'
October 26, 2007
Posted By Marc Morano - Marc_Morano@EPW.Senate.Gov - 4:14PM ET
Senator Inhofe Exposes Costly Global Warming 'Solutions'
Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, delivered a more than two-hour floor speech on October 26, debunking fears of man-made global warming. Below is an excerpt of his remarks about the economics of so-called global warming "solutions."
Senator Inhofe Speech Excerpt:
CARBON MANDATES DON'T REDUCE TEMPERATURES
First, going on a carbon diet would do nothing to avert climate change. After the U.S. signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, Al Gore's own scientist, Tom Wigley of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, calculated that Kyoto would reduce emissions by only 0.07 degrees Celsius by the year 2050. That's all. 0.07 degrees. And that's if the United States had ratified Kyoto and the other signatories met their targets.
But we didn't and they won't. Of the 15 original EU countries, only two are on track to meet their targets. And even one of those, Britain, has started increasing its emissions again, not decreasing.
Similar calculations have been done to estimate other climate bills. The Climate Change Stewardship Act that was defeated 38-60 last year would have only reduced temperatures by 0.029 degrees Celsius, and another bill modeled on the National Commission on Energy Policy (NCEP) report would have only reduced temperatures by 0.008 degrees Celsius. That's right - 0.008 degrees Celsius, or less than one percent of one degree.
The advances over the last Century are not simply interesting historical facts. They show us not only why we are a prosperous nation, but a roadmap to a prosperous future. Threats to prosperity have real consequences for how well and how long Americans will live. Whatever actions we take today, we must also safeguard the well-being of America's families now and into the future.
The United States Senate has acknowledged this when it passed two similar resolutions establishing a standard for passing global warming legislation. In 1997, the Byrd-Hagel Sense of the Senate, which passed 95 - 0, resolved that the U.S. should not be a signatory to any international agreement that would result in serious harm to the U.S. economy or did not mandate reductions from the developing world. Similarly, the Bingaman Sense of the Senate, passed in 2005, resolved that the U.S. should address global warming as long as it will not significantly harm the United States economy and encourages comparable action by other nations that are major trading partners and key contributors to global emissions.
Neither the Kyoto Protocol nor a single bill before Congress meets these criteria - not one. They range from costly to ruinous. But they all fail to meet the requirements of Byrd-Hagel or Bingaman.
Both the Energy Information Administration (EIA) and Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associates analyzed the costs of Kyoto when it was signed, and the costs were staggering. For instance, EIA found the annual cost would be up to $283 billion a year, and that's in 1992 constant dollars. Wharton put the cost even higher, at more than $300 billion annually, or more than $2,700 per family of four each year.
The estimated costs to comply with carbon legislative proposals in the U.S. would also be unreasonable. The NCEP approach would do nothing to lessen global warming even according to the alarmists, but according to EIA, it would still cost more than 118,000 American jobs simply to make a symbolic gesture.
And according to an MIT study, the Sanders-Boxer bill would cost energy sector consumers an amount equal to $4,500 per American family of four. The same study found the Lieberman-McCain bill would cost consumers $3,500 per family of four. Similarly, EIA found that it would have cost 1.3 million jobs. A new EPA analysis shows the Lieberman - McCain bill would cost up to half a trillion dollars by 2030 and $1.3 trillion by 2050.
Now environmentalists will tell you that's okay. Dan Lashof of the Natural Resources Defense Council says that EPA's analysis of the Lieberman-McCain bill show "it is affordable." Although EPA finds that fuel will increase by 22 percent, he calls fuel impacts "pretty modest" - Now activists inside the Beltway may think big jumps in gas prices are no big deal, but I doubt the people living in the real America would agree.
THE POOR BEAR THE BIGGEST COSTS
What few Americans realize is that the impact of these policies would not be evenly distributed. The Congressional Budget Office recently looked at the approach taken by most global warming proposals in Congress - known as cap and trade - that would place a cap on carbon emissions, allocate how much everyone could emit, and then let them trade those emissions. Let me quote from the CBO report:
"Regardless of how the allowances were distributed, 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 would."
Think about that. Even relatively modest bills would put enormous burdens on the poor.
The poor already face energy costs much higher as a percentage of their income than wealthier Americans. While most Americans spend about 4 percent of their monthly budget on heating their homes or other energy needs, the poorest fifth of Americans spend 19 percent of their budget on energy. Why would we adopt policies which disproportionately force the poor and working class to shoulder the heaviest burdens through even higher energy costs?
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End Speech Excerpt:
To read Senator Inhofe's Full Speech please click here:
To Read Selected Speech Highlights click here:
To Read Senator Inhofe's views about Hollywood promoting fears to kids click here:
To Read Senator Inhofe's speech section about activists who believe global warming has 'co-opted' the environmental movement click here:
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