Some Legislative Hot Air: Bad Storm Rising

By James L. Martin

“A bill now before Congress, S. 139, sponsored by Senators’ Joseph Lieberman ( D-CT) and John McCain (R-AZ) and known on the Hill as “The Climate Stewardship Act of 2003” would have the chilling effect of bringing the United States ever more closely in lockstep with the infamous Kyoto Protocol, referred to by some as the “Global Warming bill.” I prefer calling the bill by another name, a name more closely aligned with its intended result — the “Global Harming bill.”

Never mind that esteemed scientists the world over claim there is no such thing as global warming; that miniscule changes to global temperatures, both atmospheric and at Earth’s surface, are normal phases of an ever-changing planet. And no matter what you read or hear, it has never been proven — NEVER — that reducing CO2 emissions from fossil fuels like coal, natural gas and oil, will rid our globe of whatever purported climate disasters we’re forever warned will drive us to extinction. It’s all nonsense.

What S. 139 would do is force mandatory emission reduction requirements for carbon dioxide upon the U.S. In and of itself, doesn’t sounds like a bad idea, right? The problem is that reducing CO2 emissions is not doable; there is as yet no off-the-shelf way to do this. The only known way to reduce carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is to reduce overall energy use by dramatically reducing consumption of domestic coal and other fossil fuels. And there’s the rub.

Put another way, how can the U.S. be forced to play on a global stage where others dictate the rules of engagement? How can our great country be shackled and controlled while the whole world watches? How best to control — how best to neutralize — the force field that is America? The answer is energy. The means to that control is environmental extremism.

The world over knows the United States economy is fueled — pun intended — by energy. Little runs without it. And it is altogether right and proper that we do everything to enhance America’s energy needs while striking a balance with energy efficiency and conservation. But is it a good thing when like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, Kyoto-like legislation is dusted-off and proposed as law of the land, law that will hurt the American economy? Of course not. And definitely not for seniors and those on fixed incomes.

A June 2003 analysis by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) found that

if passed, S. 139 would eventually increase electricity rates a whopping 46 percent! Further, passage of S. 139 would increase gasoline prices a heart-stopping 27 percent…in the order of .40 cents more per gallon of gas! And the American coal industry and coal users would be socked the hardest; our cheapest and most naturally abundant fuel would increase a staggering 485 percent! Adding insult to injury, it was projected natural gas costs would rise 79 percent and oil prices go up another 31 percent.

It was for reasons such as these that the Senate defeated “Kyoto” in 1997 by the lopsided, unbelievable vote of 95-0! And while it’s likely a Gore administration would have had the U.S. as signatories of this global fiasco, President Bush would have no such nonsense during his watch.

The President did this for two very good reasons: First, he believed that requiring the United States to sign-on to a plan that developing countries of the world need not also heed was just wrong. In other words, energy rules or emission standards that were good enough for the United States (the goose) ought to also be good for India, China and other developing countries (the ganders). With Kyoto, that wasn’t to be the case. Secondly, no President should ever sign into law legislation that would knowingly, negatively impact the economy of the United States. And Kyoto would have clobbered the American economy. As President Bush said, Kyoto would have cost the U.S. economy $400 billion dollars and resulted in the loss of 4.9 million American jobs.

This is what is at stake. This is what Lieberman-McCain’s S. 139 back-door legislation could initiate. It is climate control and globalism that must be stopped. It is bad for seniors, bad for Connecticut, bad for Arizona and bad for the country.

On behalf of America’s seniors, I encourage everyone to write and call their elected officials and denounce this onerous legislation. Tell your senator or congressman that Lieberman-McCain S. 139 will cripple America’s energy supply and cost us millions of jobs. It’s an economy wrecker.