WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, issued the following statement in response to the principles of an agreement reached on climate legislation by Senators Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) and John Warner (R-VA).
“The principles of Lieberman-Warner climate bill, as outlined today, fail to meet the two requirements established by the Senate to pass climate legislation,” Senator Inhofe said. “The Lieberman-Warner bill will significantly harm the United States economy and fail to mandate reductions from the developing world. With China now the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gasses, it’s even more important that the developing nations CO2 emissions be taken into consideration. As a result, I have long supported efforts that build off of the President’s Asia-Pacific Partnership that seeks to promote technology sharing among developing nations as the way forward.”
The United States Senate has 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.
“The American people deserve an open and honest debate on the merits of climate change legislation, especially considering that mandatory carbon cap-and-trade legislation will impose the largest tax increase ever on the American people without any measurable climate benefits. It is my hope that when the Lieberman-Warner bill is introduced this fall, the EPW Committee will finally get down to the business of examining the nuts and bolts of proposed climate legislation. The American people deserve as much.”
CO2 cap-and-trade schemes were exposed by a recent CBO study as creating massive wealth redistribution from the poor and working class to wealthier Americans. Further, according to a MIT study released earlier this year, cap-and-trade legislation introduced earlier in the Senate this year by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Senator Boxer (D-CA) would cost energy sector consumers an amount equal to $4,500 per American family of four. The same study found a bill sponsored by Senator Lieberman and Senator McCain (R-AZ) would cost consumers $3,500 per family of four. And 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 – and that was based on assumptions designed to low-ball the number, begging the question of how high the real figure would be.