Earth To Al Gore: Taxpayer-Funded Lobbying Is Not a Constitutional Right

Earth To Al Gore: Taxpayer-Funded Lobbying Is Not a Constitutional Right

July 14, 1998

WASHINGTON, DC, July 14, 1998 — "At today’s White House press conference, Vice President Gore is expected to claim that EPA’s taxpayer-funded lobbying on behalf of the non-ratified Kyoto treaty is a 1st Amendment right. How typical of this Orwellian Administration," remarked Marlo Lewis, Jr., Vice President for Policy and Coalitions at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).

At a press conference scheduled for 2:50 p.m. today, Vice President Gore will attack "the Congressional proposal to bar discussion" of climate change issues, i.e., Rep. Joe Knollenberg’s language in the FY 1999 VA-HUD Appropriations Bill and Committee Report.

The VA-HUD Appropriations House Report, noting that "there can be a very fine line between education and advocacy," directs the EPA to "refrain from conducting educational outreach or informational seminars on policies underlying the Kyoto Protocol until or unless the Protocol is ratified by the Senate." Vice President Gore will no doubt depict this language as a gag rule. "What nonsense," said Lewis. "The two EPA-funded global warming conferences, I have attended were transparently designed to promote global warming policy and recruit pro-Kyoto lobbyists among EPA’s State and local counterparts. Not a dime of taxpayer money should be spent for such purposes until and unless the Senate ratifies the Protocol."

Rep. Knollenberg’s language in the VA-HUD Appropriation Bill would prohibit the EPA from spending taxpayer dollars "to develop, propose, or issue rules, regulations, decrees, or orders" to implement the non-ratified Kyoto Protocol. "This is absolutely critical," said Lewis. In April, EPA asserted its authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon dioxide  a basic building block of life – as a "hazardous pollutant." If allowed to get away with this, EPA’s regulatory net could expand to cover more than 1 million small and mid-size businesses. "This would be the ultimate act of implementation without ratification, and Rep. Knollenberg is to be commended for working to nip this stratagem in the bud," said Lewis.

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to free markets and limited government. For more information call Emily McGee at (202) 331-1010.