Aren’t High Gas Prices Part of What Gore Believes In?–Kemp in IBD

Published in Investor's Business Daily

Published in Investor’s Business Daily

July 26, 2000

Surging oil prices, combined with new Environmental Protection Agency regulations on reconstituted gasoline, have sent gas prices skyrocketing.

President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore are pointing at the oil companies as the culprits. But it becomes clearer with each passing day that this is just trumped-up outrage to get them through the presidential election.

Rising prices for all types of fossil fuels is precisely what the Clinton-Gore strategy for the future requires. As the vice president said in his epic manifesto for global central planning, Earth in the Balance: “Higher taxes on fossil fuels … is one of the logical first steps in changing our policies in a manner consistent with a more responsible approach to the environment.”

The unexpected increases in the price of gasoline during this presidential season have blown the cover off the vice president’s grand scheme. He wants to raise energy costs as a way of phasing out the internal combustion engine and moving the U.S. and the world toward an energy-poor, centrally managed future, with his allies in every global bureaucracy in charge.

Now that Americans are getting a taste of $2-a-gallon gasoline, they’re not so sure that Gore’s Global Government is the best thing for the economy or the ecology.

There’s simply no doubt that the Clinton-Gore commitment to the Kyoto protocol on global warming would cost Americans billions of dollars and millions of jobs.

And for what? So a self-appointed elite of pseudo-scientists and Eurocentric, Third Way bureaucrats can clamp down on our energy supplies in the name of a theory of climate change that is no more than speculation.

The energy price crunch is throwing a monkey wrench into the Clinton-Gore administration’s carefully planned (and skillfully executed) propaganda campaign, designed to link summer heat and each and every unusual weather event to the fact that Americans (in Gore’s world view) drive too much and make themselves too comfortable and productive with electric appliances, air conditioning, computers and the Internet.

This spring, the Clinton-Gore administration unveiled its so-called National Assessment on Climate Change, a distortion of the scientific evidence about global warming. It claims that temperatures in the U.S. will rise more than twice as fast as they possibly could, even on the basis of recent trends in the atmosphere.

Even worse, this “national assessment” makes claims about climate change and public health that even our own EPA couldn’t stomach.The EPA hit the report for its “extreme/alarmist tone, (which does) not appear to fairly reflect the scientific literature, the historical record or the output of extant models.”

The real stake through the heart of this “national assessment” came after its fun-house projections of climate for particular regions of the U.S. These projections were dramatized at a Capitol Hill forum in late May under the auspices of my colleagues at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, with keen analysis offered by real scientists gathered in Washington for a meeting of the Geophysical Union.Fred Singer of the Science and Environmental Policy Project pointed out that one of the climate models used in the Clinton-Gore assessment showed North Dakota becoming a desert, while the other model predicted it would be a swamp — and both projections were used in the report!

The Clinton-Gore idea of science is to say, “We don’t know just what will happen, but it will be worse — so quit driving so much and pumping out so much carbon dioxide.”

Our energy price hikes this summer should be the best news Gore has received since Janet Reno refused to appoint an independent counsel.

And yet, both the vice president and the president are attacking the increases in gasoline prices, suddenly finding a conspiracy among the oil companies. They argue that they really, really want the consumers to get a fair deal. All right, then, withdraw from the price-hiking Kyoto protocol as a gesture of good faith with American energy users.

Don’t hold your breath. On June 29, Clinton told a union crowd in Philadelphia how important global warming is for the fate of mankind. He asked rhetorically, “Don’t you think we ought to have somebody in the White House that understands the importance of this and knows how to deal with it, and still grow the economy?”

Yes, Mr. President, I do. But why are you lobbying against your vice president? We can only hope the dramatic wake-up call America is getting on the energy front this year will head off the regressive energy taxes and command-and-control economic regulation demanded by Gore and his Earth-in-the-balance obsession with throttling growth and progress.

It’s been true throughout history that the grand schemes of a self-appointed elite harm most the people who have the least, whether it’s the peoples of the developing world or minorities in the inner city trying to hold down a job that requires them to drive a long distance.

A new study sponsored by minority business groups finds the Kyoto protocol would cost black and Hispanic workers 10% of their earnings, and they would end up paying 10%-20% more for housing and energy if this energy-scarcity scheme goes into effect.

So far as energy policy and climate change are concerned, the truth will truly set us free. This year’s taste of living under the rules of Gore’s economic manifesto may help the truth get out a lot faster.

Jack Kemp is co-director of Empower America and Distinguished Fellow of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.