Clinton Climate Proposal – All Pain, No Gain

WASHINGTON, DC, October 22 , 1997 — President Clinton’s long awaited announcement today that he will officially propose reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012 at the forthcoming Kyoto conference came as no surprise; what is startling is that the President plans to implement his polices before the Senate considers an international climate treaty.

“We’ve known all along that the Clinton-Gore administration wanted to impose controls on energy use,” said Fred Smith, President of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). “But we were surprised when Clinton admitted that he will circumvent the Congress and implement his schemes before the Senate even considers the treaty. Worse, Clinton forgot to mention that his plans will impose significant costs and have absolutely no effect on the climate.”

“Government suppression of energy use inevitably destroys livelihoods and depresses living standards,” Smith said. President Clinton called for a treaty that would require the United States to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels within the next 15 years. “It would be a colossal mistake to regard Clinton’s proposal as “moderate,” emphasized Smith. “Just because radical green groups want to do more of a bad thing doesn’t make Clinton’s proposal reasonable. Clinton’s ‘modest’ proposal will put America on an energy starvation diet that will impose real hardships on working families.”

“Clinton’s idea that we can make people and nations safer and healthier by making them poorer is wrongheaded and dangerous,” Smith said, adding “It is indisputable that wealthier is healthier, and poorer is dirtier. How many impoverished nations will work to clean their environment when their cupboards are bare and their bellies are empty?”

Clinton’s treaty proposal calls for $5 billion in new business subsidies to lure support from the business community. “Corporations are often tempted by corporate welfare and sweetheart tax breaks into supporting federal policies that suppress freedom, opportunity, and consumer welfare. Clearly that is what President Clinton is hoping will happen here,” said Smith.

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to free markets and limited government. For more information call Emily McGee at (202) 331-1010.