INHOFE, BOXER DEBATE GLOBAL WARMING ON SENATE FLOOR
Inhofe Welcomes Debate, Refutes Boxer’s Attacks
October 29, 2007
Marc Morano 202-224-5762
Matt Dempsey 202-224-9797
INHOFE, BOXER DEBATE GLOBAL WARMING ON SENATE FLOOR
Inhofe Welcomes Debate, Refutes Boxer’s Attacks
WASHINGTON, DC - Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, immediately responded on the Senate floor today to Senator Boxer's rebuttal of his floor speech from last Friday, October 26, 2007, in which he provided the very latest in peer-reviewed studies, analyses, and data error discoveries which are debunking man-made global warming fears. Senator Inhofe welcomed today's debate and delivered the following statement on the Senate Floor to address the issues raised by Senator Boxer about his speech and further addressed the devastating economic impact of enacting draconian legislation on the American people that would have no climate gain.
To Read Senator Inhofe's views about Hollywood promoting fears to kids click here:
To Read Senator Inhofe's views on costly "solutions" to global warming click here:
To Read Senator Inhofe discuss activists who believe global warming has 'co-opted' the environmental movement click here:
INHOFE FLOOR STATEMENT AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY
Now, I never thought I would utter these words, but for all of their failed communist ideology, many Chinese leaders seem to understand the importance economic growth and capital formation better than many our political leaders. Wealth equals health! And the emerging economies also understand that. Our leaders used to understand that as well.
When Time magazine named the Model T the 20th Century's worst environmental product because it brought mobility and prosperity, it was clear that commonsense has been turned on its head in this country. Almost a century ago, when the first Model T was rolling off the assembly line, the average American could expect a lifespan of only 53 years, and an inflation-adjusted income of only $5,300 per year. The automobile changed all that, allowing people to drive to hospitals 25 miles away in time to save people's lives, allowing companies to use nationwide distribution systems to both make and deliver medicines, fresh produce, clothing and materials for homes and other products. Now the average lifespan is 78 years and annual income has risen to $32,000.
2) Danish statistician Bjorn Lomborg critiqued the Stern report in a November 2, 2006 Wall Street Journal op-ed. "The report seems hastily put-together, with many sloppy errors. As an example, the cost of hurricanes in the U.S. is said to be both 0.13% of U.S. GDP and 10 times that figure," Lomborg wrote. "It seems naive to believe that the world's 192 nations can flawlessly implement Mr. Stern's multi-trillion-dollar, century-long policy proposal. Will nobody try to avoid its obligations? Why would China and India even participate?" Lomborg added. "We all want a better world. But we must not let ourselves be swept up in making a bad investment simply because we have been scared by sensationalist headlines," Lomborg concluded.
3) Roger Pielke Jr., the director of the University of Colorado's Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, also chided the Stern Report for "cherry picking" data on October 30, 2006. "The Stern Report's selective fishing out of a convenient statement from one of the background papers prepared for our workshop is a classic example of cherry picking a result from a diversity of perspectives, rather than focusing on the consensus of the entire spectrum of experts that participated in our meeting," Pielke wrote. "To support its argument the Stern Report further relies on a significantly flawed report from the Association of British Insurers, which we critiqued here. Its presentation of the future costs of disasters and climate change is highly selective to put it mildly," he added.
4) Australian Paleoclimate scientist Dr. Bob Carter ridiculed the Stern Report in a November 3, 2006 article. "The Stern warning could join Paul Ehrlich's "The Population Bomb" and the "Club of Rome's Limits to Growth" in the pantheon of big banana scares that proved to be unfounded," Carter wrote. "The Stern review is not about climate change but about economic, technological and trade advantage. Its perpetrators seek power through climate scaremongering," Carter concluded.
5) Yale University's Sterling Professor of Economics William Nordhaus recently authored a study on the economic effects of climate change titled "The Challenge of Global Warming: Economic Models and Environmental Policy." The study revealed that so-called global warming "solutions" would cost two or even three times the benefits they would theoretically achieve. Nordhaus was specifically critical Stern's use of a novel methodology in which he assumes a near-zero discount rate which dramatically inflates the benefits of addressing global warming.
6) The New York Times captured the views of mainstream economists in its February 21, 2007 article by David Leonhardt when he cited Nordhaus's concerns, adding: "This was fairly tame compared with the comments of another Yale economist Robert O. Mendelsohn. ‘I was awestruck,' he said, comparing Sir Nicholas to ‘The Wizard of Oz.' But ‘my job is to be Toto.'"
In his new book, The Age of Turbulence" Alan Greenspan wrote:
"There is no effective way to meaningfully reduce emissions without negatively impacting a large part of an economy," Greenspan wrote. "Net, it is a tax. If the cap is low enough to make a meaningful inroad into CO2 emissions, permits will become expensive and large numbers of companies will experience cost increases that make them less competitive. Jobs will be lost and real incomes of workers constrained."
Renowned economists Arthur Laffer and Wayne Winegarden drove this point home in an October 2 op-ed in the Financial Post when they wrote:
"The costs of reducing [greenhouse gases] through cap-and-trade regulations are not trivial. If implemented, cap-and-trade policies would add significant costs to production and would likely have a severe negative impact on long-term U.S. growth, an amount we estimate at US $10,800 per family."
This bill [S. 2191] is patterned after the Lieberman-McCain bill which according to an EPA analysis, would impose a price increase for oil of 20% and for natural gas of 23%. An MIT study earlier this year found the bill would increase energy costs an amount equivalent to $3500 per family of four. This study demonstrates the enormous wealth transfers involved in cap and trade schemes.
Now, there is apparently some confusion about this study, so let me describe it as best I can. The study calculated the amount of money that would be raised from businesses regulated under the bill if all the allowances under these bills were auctioned and the monies distributed, per family of four. So this figure represents not only the cost to industry, but also theoretical distributions to households. But of course, none of the bills actually distribute the monies raised from auctioning allowances to households, nor has this even been proposed. The cost of buying allowances, however, would be substantial - equal to $3,500 per family of four, and would be passed onto investors as losses and consumers as higher prices, in short, families. So however you want to describe it, at the end of the day, households are left bearing the burden of this legislation.
This will have enormous impacts, especially on the poor. 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. The Congressional Budget Office found that greenhouse gas cap and trade schemes are highly regressive and put the highest burden on the poor.
The bill also appears designed to drive up fuel costs in this country as quickly as possible. By setting the first emissions target only four years away, the bill creates a mandate which can only be met through massive fuel switching to natural gas for electric generation -- thus robbing home owners of affordable natural gas home heating, and driving factories overseas that depend on natural gas or low energy prices. Just last week, we heard testimony from Alcoa that its future growth is not in the U.S., where it doesn't plan to build any more plants, but in countries where energy prices are low.
I agree with Greenspan's assessment, where he states:
"Cap-and-trade systems or carbon taxes are likely to be popular only until real people lose real jobs as their consequence."
But for all its terrible consequences, I prefer a carbon tax because it is more honest. Even the Washington Post editorial board echoed this sentiment in its editorial this morning when it wrote:
A carbon tax would be more straightforward. With cap-and-trade, there's potential for games, fraud, evasion and abuse. Some companies could earn windfall profits, and the price volatility of emissions allowances could be disruptive.
A tax is still preferable to cap and trade schemes because it is transparent and prevents windfall profits to companies that will do nothing to help us achieve emission reductions - profits that grow as family pocketbooks shrink.
Unfortunately, we may not have an opportunity to fully examine the S.1291, as it is being rushed through the Committee process. Neither EPA nor the Energy Information Administration has had an opportunity to review it, not has it been subjected to analysis showing likely future developments in our energy infrastructure.
Mr. President, I have to ask one simple question: Why?
Why is there such a head-long rush to take ineffective action that will cripple our economy and achieve nothing regardless of who is right and who is wrong about the science? I don't think this is about solutions. This is about energy policy, and whether our nation should grow and prosper or whether America's time has passed and we should step aside for the emerging nations. I, for one, do not intend to see this nation fade quietly into the sunset and will oppose all measures that would make this nation's greatness a historical footnote for future generations.
October 2007 Press Releases
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