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Richard Morrison, 202.331.2273
Washington, D.C., March 22, 2007— Former Vice President Al Gore dropped the pretense in testimony before the House and Senate yesterday that the global warming problem as he imagines it can be solved by changing light bulbs and buying hybrid autos. Instead, he laid out an agenda for the federal government to take over every aspect of energy use in the United States.
The policies he laid out include: steep increases in energy taxes, a cap-and-trade regulatory system that would put rapidly declining limits on greenhouse gas emissions, more restrictive fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks, a huge federal intervention in the finance market to subsidize more energy efficient houses, a prohibition on new coal-fired power plants unless equipped with expensive carbon sequestration technology, and a vast increase in federal payments to people who cannot afford the steeply higher prices to heat and light their homes.
“Gore’s proposals would create a breathtaking expansion of government power over the lives of everyday Americans citizens and put the U.S. economy in a deep freeze. Normally such radical measures would be rejected out of hand – which is why the former Vice President has had to rely on alarmist predictions which mislead his audiences and distort the relevant science,” said Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis, author of Al Gore’s Science Fiction: A Skeptics Guide to An Inconvenient Truth, an exhaustive study rebutting Gore’s version of global warming theory.
“Mr. Gore envisions a federal takeover of nearly every aspect of the economy and restrictions on people’s individual choices,” said Myron Ebell, CEI’s Director of Energy & Global Warming Policy. “He has validated Czech President Vaclav Klaus’s recent observation that environmentalism in general and global warming alarmism in particular pose the greatest threat to individual liberty and to prosperity in the world today.”
“Socialism failed because it claimed control over the economy in the name of the people, but the people realized they could run the economy better on their own,” said Senior Fellow Iain Murray. “Command-and-control is back, in the name of the environment this time, but it's the same people advocating it. And the effect will be the same - the aspirations of ordinary people sacrificed to the demands of the self-appointed intelligentsia.”
CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.