Joint Letter to President Bush on Climate Policy

April 16, 2008

The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States
The White House
Washington, D. C., 20500

Dear President Bush:

The undersigned organizations write to share our concerns
over reports that your administration is considering further mandatory measures
intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We understand that you have become aware of
the regulatory nightmare that will almost certainly ensue from any one of
several litigation strategies involving the Clean Air Act, the Endangered
Species Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act. We believe these concerns are well-founded.

However, it must be understood that the central purpose of
those who filed the Massachusetts
versus EPA case and those who proposed the listing of the polar bear is
precisely to create that regulatory nightmare to pressure you and the Congress
into adopting Kyoto-style cap-and-trade policy. Their implicit demand is, “Give us
cap-and-trade, or we’ll wreak havoc on the economy through litigation.”

This is legislative extortion, and it is not how public
policy should be made in the United
States. Rewarding such bullying tactics would set a dangerous

Enacting further mandatory limits on emissions would be
especially unwise at this time, as the U.S. economy totters on recession
and consumer confidence sags from rising food and energy prices. Moreover, your policies are working. Since the Kyoto Protocol was negotiated in
1997, U. S. emissions have
increased more slowly in percentage terms than have emissions in the European
Union, Canada, and Japan. In 2006, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions
declined. Also, Canada, Japan,
and most European countries are not on track to meet their Kyoto targets. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the Kyoto process, with its
built-in momentum for ever more unrealistic emission reduction targets, is
economically ruinous and, hence, politically unsustainable.

We congratulate EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson for
issuing an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR). The ANPR will allow
the administration and the friends of affordable energy and economic growth to educate
the public about the potentially economy-wrecking repercussions of recent and
ongoing litigation under the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, and

But we think it would be a terrible blunder to squander the
educational opportunity that the ANPR offers by reversing course and endorsing mandatory
emission limits—a policy Congress has never approved on its own merits.

Proposing mandatory emission limits would demoralize those who have worked so hard to promote climate policies based on scientific knowledge, economic realities, and technological feasibility. The real choice is not between energy rationing and regulatory chaos. Rather, the real choice is between regulatory chaos and legislation that fixes the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act so that pro-Kyoto litigation groups cannot use those statutes for a purpose that Congress never intended—to dictate climate and energy policy for the nation.

There is no political necessity to let your fiercest critics
frame the terms of debate so that they get what they have unsuccessfully sought
for the past ten years—a Kyoto-type energy rationing system. You can win this battle by sponsoring a clean
bill to prevent the nation’s environmental laws from being used to spawn
regulatory chaos. The pro-Kyoto faction
in Congress may oppose such a bill, but if they do so, they will also take
ownership of and responsibility for any regulatory excess that their litigation
group allies succeed in producing.

For these reasons, we urge you not to abandon the prudent and
successful course you have followed during the past seven years. Rather, we
believe you should use the ANPR comment period to educate the public and
Congress about the regulatory perils that recent and ongoing litigation have
created, the urgent need to solve that threat, and the inadmissibility of using
the threat to extort policy concessions that would also be harmful to the
American people.


Fred L. Smith, Jr.

Myron Ebell
Director of Global Warming and Energy Policy

Marlo Lewis
Senior Fellow
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Grover Norquist
Americans for Tax Reform

Paul M. Weyrich
National Chairman
Coalitions for America

Hon. Roy Innis
National Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
National Spokesperson
Congress of Racial Equality

Hon. Malcolm Wallop
Chairman and Founder
Frontiers of Freedom

Amy Ridenour
David Ridenour
Vice President
Center for Public Policy

Matt Kibbe
President and CEO
Freedom Works

Tom Schatz
Citizens Against Government Waste

Tim Phillips
Americans for Prosperity

Alan B. Smith
Acting Executive Director
American Legislative Exchange Council

Jim Martin
60 Plus Association

Larry Hart
Director of Government Affairs
American Conservative Union

George Landrith
American Environmental Coalition

Craig Rucker
Executive Director
Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow

H. Sterling Burnett
National Center for Policy Analysis

Mark Chmura
Executive Director
Americans for the Preservation of Liberty

Kelsey Zahourek
Executive Director
Property Rights Alliance


Richard W. C. Falknor
Maryland Center-Right Coalition

Gregory Cohen
President and CEO
Highway Users Alliance

Doug Bandow
Vice President for Policy
Citizen Outreach

Paul Chesser
Climate Strategies Watch

Fred Grau
Executive Director
Take Back Pennsylvania

Andrew Langer
Institute for Liberty