Obama Treasury Dept Still Hiding Info on Global Warming ‘Cap-and-Tax’ Costs

Obama Treasury Dept Still Hiding Info on Global Warming ‘Cap-and-Tax’ Costs

Admissions of Job Losses & Hundreds of Billions in Cost Insufficient; CEI to Sue

Washington, D.C., September 29, 2009— The Competitive Enterprise Institute today notified the Treasury Department of CEI’s intent to sue for the administration’s inadequate disclosure of documents addressing its expectations of and intentions for a global warming “cap-and-trade” plan. CEI’s notice of intent to sue was contained in an appeal filed today with the agency.

The cost estimates running as high as $300 billion per year contained in the few documents released by Treasury two weeks ago set off a political firestorm. Such cost estimates were far above the government’s public estimates and previously hidden from the public. The higher figures and other expected impacts were revealed only after a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents request by CEI Senior Fellow Christopher Horner.

The agency responded to CEI’s requests, after months of delay, by producing a mere five documents. Initially, even those documents were released with politically embarrassing portions blacked out. Days later, the same documents were re-released without the blacked out portions, but still not in their entirety.

“Your response fails any reasonable test for compliance with FOIA and constitutes an effective denial of our request,” stated Horner, in the notice of appeal filed today.

Documents released by Treasury on September 18 revealed:

•    Internal agency estimates of a crushing blow to manufacturing jobs and that a global warming cap-and-trade plan could hit $300 billion annually, while raising billions in revenue to fund various programs.

•    Treasury estimates that “domestic policies to address climate change and the related issues of energy security and affordability will involve significant costs and potential revenues, possibly up to several percentage points of annual GDP (i.e. equal in size to the corporate income tax).”; and that

•    Treasury believes that carbon regulation “may result in loss of domestic and international market shares for U.S. companies, and relocation of U.S. firms abroad, representing both a political problem and an environmental problem” singling out how “energy-intensive sectors, such as the steel, aluminum, paper, chemicals, and cement industries, where imports are ready substitutes and lower carbon technologies are not widely available, are clearly vulnerable.”

Heeding President Obama’s call for such a scheme, a cap-and-trade plan already passed the House as part of the Waxman-Markey bill.  Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and John Kerry (D-Mass) plan to introduce their version this week. Both approaches require Americans to purchase energy use “allowances” and amount to a large tax on energy and the cost of all goods, given the energy required to produce and bring them to market. As a candidate, Obama expressed his intention to use cap-and-trade to cause Americans’ energy costs to “necessarily skyrocket.”

Treasury’s response to date and CEI’s Appeal and Notice of Intent to Sue reveal how the administration is still not being straight with Congress and the American people about this.

> Read more about CEI’s Appeal and Notice of Intent to Sue

> Read more about CEI’s FOIA request

> Read more by Christopher Horner, author of Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud, and Deception to Keep You Misinformed