Senator Bingaman's Bogus Climate Proposal

Senator Bingaman's Bogus Climate Proposal

All Economic Pain for No Environmental Gain
December 05, 2005

Contacts:    

Myron Ebell, 202.320.6685 (<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Montreal)

Richard Morrison, 202.441.9652 (Montreal)

Jody Clarke, 202.331.2252 (Washington, D.C.)

Montréal, Quebec, December 6, 2005—U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) is scheduled to deliver a speech at the UN global warming meeting in Montréal this afternoon on his plan for mandatory carbon dioxide emissions controls in the United States. If similar to proposals Sen. Bingaman intended to offer earlier this year in the Senate, the plan would represent significant economic sacrifice without measurably reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.

“While Sen. Bingaman’s approach has been presented as a moderate and sensible response to the possibility of global warming, it clearly is neither,” said Competitive Enterprise Institute Director of Global Warming Policy Myron Ebell. “If Bingaman were taking the alarmist position held by supporters of the Kyoto Protocol seriously, his plan would be far too modest to be of any value. If he were concerned about its economic impact, it would be far too expensive.”

Sen. Bingaman’s proposed amendment to energy legislation this summer was withdrawn once it became clear that it would be defeated. It represented a scaled-back version of carbon dioxide emissions limits first advanced by Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT).  The McCain-Lieberman amendment was defeated by 38 votes to 60 in the Senate and itself represented a much-reduced version of the emissions reductions which would have been called for had the U.S. Senate ratified the Kyoto Protocol.

“Bingaman’s approach would be both expensive and useless, making it difficult to believe he takes even his own current position seriously,” continued Ebell. “The only rationale for pursuing such a path would be to convince the U.S. Congress to establish the legal groundwork for mandatory emissions limits, only to greatly increase their severity in the future and ignore the spiraling costs.”