Contact for Interviews:
Marlo Lewis, 202.669.6693
Jody Clarke, 202.331.2252
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<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Washington, D.C., August 12, 2004— According to a new study appearing in the August 13 issue of the journal Science, “We already have the technology we need to take the world off the path toward dramatic climate change.” But a cursory glance at the advance summary reveals that the study, conducted by Princeton Environmental Institute’s Carbon Mitigation Initiative (CMI), is completely out of touch with economic, political, and environmental reality.
The forthcoming study claims that each of 15 recommended strategies could eliminate up to 1 billion tons annually of carbon emissions by 2054, though by not considering their costs the authors make their recommendations useless as public policy proposals. “The study basically says that if you coerce everybody to use a lot less energy and don’t care about the cost, you can significantly reduce emissions,” said Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis. “We needed Princeton University to tell us that?”
CMI’s Strategy 1 is to double the fuel efficiency of 2 billion cars from 30 to 60 mpg. However, the average passenger car in the U.S. got 21.4 mpg in 1999, and the average light truck 17.1 mpg, so CMI is really proposing to triple fuel economy. “Don’t they know how politically difficult it is to mandate even small mpg increases? Their proposal would either eliminate today’s most popular vehicles—SUVs, pickups, and large sedans—or price them out of reach of working families,” said Lewis.
CMI’s Strategy 2 is to decrease the number of car miles traveled by half. But the U.S. population could easily increase by half or more by 2054. “This strategy is tantamount to rationing cars—commuters and soccer moms should just love it.”
CMI Strategy 5 is to replace 1,400 coal electric plants with natural gas-powered facilities. But America is already facing a multi-billion dollar natural gas supply crunch. “This strategy would wreak havoc upon consumer electricity bills.”
CMI Strategy 9 is to add double the current global nuclear capacity to replace coal-based electricity. “This proposal should go over big with the no-nukes environmental establishment.”
CMI Strategy 10 is to increase wind capacity by 50 times relative to today, for a total of 2 million large windmills. “The word boondoggle was invented for just such proposals, and in case CMI has not heard, there’s a growing grassroots backlash against wind farms.”
CMI Strategy 13 is to increase ethanol production 50 times by creating biomass plantations with an area equal to 1/6th of world cropland. This strategy is a prescription for decimating millions of acres of forest and other wildlife habitat. “I thought environmentalists liked trees and wildlife, but I guess these days anyone can qualify as long as they embrace the Kyoto agenda of climate alarmism and energy rationing.”
Energy Expert Available for Interviews
202-669-6693 – mobile
Recently seen in: The Wall Street Journal, Gannett News, Roll Call, & International Environment Daily, among others.
CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government. For more information about CEI, please visit our website at www.cei.org.