Committee Examines Energy Rationing Bill
<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Washington, D.C., October 24, 2007—This afternoon the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing on a bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that would impose severe economic hardship on Americans without providing any tangible benefits. S. 2191, sponsored by Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and John Warner (R-VA), would create a “cap-and-trade” system for carbon dioxide emissions, limiting growth throughout the economy. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
“Mandatory carbon dioxide restrictions are a regressive tax on energy use that will fall hardest on the working poor, who already pay a much higher percentage of their incomes for energy than the better off,” said Competitive Enterprise Institute Director of Energy & Global Warming Policy Myron Ebell. “Selected corporations and industries will benefit by being given credits for a certain level of emissions, and the costs of complying with the restrictions will be passed on to consumers.”
Meant to address concerns about the possible future effects of global warming, the Lieberman-Warner bill would impose a complex system of allocations and incremental targets that attempt to squeeze ever larger amounts of carbon-based energy out of the economy. What the bill does not do, however, is provide a reasonable replacement for the affordable, dependable sources of power – like coal-fired power plants – that would be negatively affected.
“The theory that rationing energy is an efficient path towards confronting climate change is even now being disproved by the experience of the European Union,” said Ebell. “Nations in Europe are failing to meet their Kyoto targets, and indeed their emissions are rising faster than in the U. S. At the same time energy costs are going up and their economies are lagging behind the U.S. A nation that embraces innovation, growth and resiliency rather than energy rationing will be better equipped to deal with whatever challenges the future holds.”
Energy Experts Available for Interviews
Director of Energy Policy
Marlo Lewis, Ph.D.