NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Alarm Over State Department's Environmental Commitments

August 19, 1996

Business groups fear that the State Department's commitment to combat "global warming" could have devastating economic consequences. They charge that these international deals would let foreign bureaucrats inspect and punish American firms.

State Department officials have promised to back binding timetables and numerical targets for emission levels of "greenhouse" gases -- principally carbon dioxide -- despite the dispute over scientific evidence surrounding the theory of global warming.

  • By some estimates, target emission levels would be so low as to reduce economic growth by $200 billion a year and destroy 600,000 jobs.
  • Critics charge that the Clinton administration is betting that the public will not understand the complexities of the issues or question its policies at the United Nations.
  • Although the Constitution requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate to ratify treaties, critics say President Clinton can avoid that through executive orders and changing the way he enforces existing regulations.

Another issue causing concern to business is the Chemical Weapons Convention, set up to outlaw the production of chemical weapons. The pact lets U.N. inspection teams nose through the plants of thousands of U.S. automotive, biotech, pharmaceutical, electronics, and even brewing and cosmetics firms. Such an open door policy could lead to international industrial espionage.

Source: Daniel J. Murphy, "Our New 'Green' Foreign Policy," Investor's Business Daily, August 19, 1996.


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