Senate Holds Hearing on Irrelevant Climate Plan

Washington, D.C., November 8, 2007—This morning the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will meet to hear testimony on legislation that would severely restrict greenhouse gas emissions, despite ample evidence of the catastrophic economic effects of such a plan.

The "Climate Security Act of 2007," co-sponsored by Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and John Warner (R-VA), would require the United States to reduce its emissions by 50% by the year 2050. "Given the current mix of fuels and foreseeable advances in technology, there is no way to reduce emissions to the level required by Lieberman-Warner without a strict policy of rationing and energy taxes," said Competitive Enterprise Institute Director of Energy & Global Warming Policy Myron Ebell.

"These Kyoto-on-steroids proposals are economically ruinous and, hence, politically unsustainable," said CEI Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis.

The Energy Information Administration projects that U.S. CO2 emissions will increase from 5,934 million metric tons in 2005 to 7,936 million metric tons in 2030—a 33 percent increase (see the accompanying figure). That trend is driven by market forces—the expanding use of coal, oil, and natural gas to provide jobs and prosperity for our growing population. "2030 is mid-way between now and 2050. Absent revolutionary breakthroughs in technology, which no one can plan or predict, it’s impossible to go from a 33-percent emissions increase at the mid-point to a 50-percent cut at the end point without putting the economy in a deep freeze," Lewis said.

The Lieberman-Warner plan would establish a "cap and trade" limit on greenhouse gas emissions. The European Union is currently attempting to implement a milder version and generally meeting with failure. European emissions are still rising faster than those of the U.S., and energy prices have increased dramatically.

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