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Bush on Global Warming: A Big Mistake that Could Have Been Worse

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Bush on Global Warming: A Big Mistake that Could Have Been Worse

Proposals Undermine Opposition to Energy Rationing

Washington, D.C.,
April 16, 2008—President Bush's speech on global warming today lays out a
blueprint for slow motion economic decline. It legitimizes global warming
alarmism and undermines opposition in Congress to disastrous energy-rationing
policies, such as the climate legislation championed by Senators Joseph
Lieberman (I-CT) and John Warner (R-VA).

“President
Bush's global warming proposals could have been worse,” said Competitive
Enterprise Institute Director of Energy & Global Warming Policy Myron
Ebell
. “But it was still a pointless speech that was unnecessary. While the
President said that the global warming debate was intensifying, global warming
alarmism is collapsing all around the world. With today's proposals,
however, the President has managed to re-energize that alarmism.”

Thanks
to conservative opposition, the President has stepped back from the most
damaging proposals being considered, such as supporting a cap-and-trade program
for utilities. It's not clear, however, what exactly is left. His emphasis on
new technologies is encouraging, although it opens the door to massive and wasteful government subsidies. The vague
principles that the President enunciated could end up supporting sensible
policies or damaging policies.

“President
Bush has moved the debate toward energy rationing policies that will raise
electricity and gasoline prices paid by consumers,” said Ebell. “But perhaps we
should be grateful that he hasn't moved the debate far enough to please the
global warming alarmists.”

According
to CEI’s analysis, the best aspects of the President’s proposal are his opposition
to tariffs and his call to reform the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species
Act to prevent their application to carbon dioxide regulation. He has correctly
assessed the potential regulatory nightmare that would emerge out of trying to
force global warming policies through legislation intended to address unrelated
environmental issues.

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan
public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited
government. For more information about
CEI, please visit our website at www.cei.org.