U.S. Lawmakers Eye European Carbon ‘Cap-and-Trade’ Fiasco

Washington, D.C., July 24, 2007—U.S. Senators Joe Lieberman and John Warner are poised to introduce legislation to impose on Americans a costly, harmful European-style cap-and-trade scheme aimed at reducing carbon emissions.

“Senators Lieberman and Warner should stop listening to companies that hope to profit from higher energy prices under a cap-and-trade scheme,” said Myron Ebell, Director of Global Warming and Energy Policy for the Competitive Enterprise Institute.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />

“Instead, the senators should learn from the European Union’s disastrous experience with its emissions trading system – that a cap-and-trade scheme can be very expensive and still not lower emissions,” said Ebell.

“In <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Europe, energy prices have skyrocketed as billions annually in windfall profits are transferred from consumers to politically connected corporations,” added Christopher Horner, CEI Senior Fellow.  “It’s imposed a spectacular cost to their economy from lost competitiveness, jobs lost and exported, and investment sent elsewhere.”

The European cap-and-trade permit auction system, in effect since 2005, has resulted in an “administrative nightmare” and imposed huge, unintended costs on businesses and the loss of some jobs, reports Open Europe, a UK think tank.  Hospitals and universities, for example have spent millions buying up permits. Ironically, Open Europe points out, large oil companies have made substantial profits from the scheme.

In an analysis of the European model, the U.S. Congressional Budget Office found that “most of the cost of the cap would ultimately be borne by consumers,” not energy companies.

Read “Cap And Trade: A System Made For Fraudsters” by iain murray

Contact: Christine Hall, 202.331.2258