NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


June 10, 2008

The Boxer-Lieberman-Warner bill debated by the U.S. Senate last week would have replaced markets with government controls over the economy and Americans' personal lives, says Pete du Pont, NCPA Policy Chairman and a former Gov. of Delaware.  Since Barack Obama and John McCain both support the bill, and the next Congress is likely to have bigger Democratic majorities, it's important to understand how this bill would affect Americans.

The world's climate is not rapidly warming to an extent that would threaten our way of life, explains du Pont.  For example:

  • The average of four recent climate temperature studies show that over the past 10 years, the planet has warmed only 0.047 degree Celsius, less than 1/20th of a degree.
  • Recent studies suggest there will be no significant warming until after 2020.

Consider the anticipated effects of this legislation:

  • The Senate's global warming bill would cap greenhouse gas emissions and reduce them each year, from 5.8 billion metric tons in 2015 to 1.7 billion in 2050.
  • A Heritage Foundation study calculates that such reductions would cost more than 600,000 jobs a year through 2028 (900,000 in both 2016 and 2017).

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

  • The annual economic losses will be $1 trillion to $2.8 trillion by 2050.
  • Electricity prices would rise about 44 percent by 2030, and gasoline prices by more than 50 cents a gallon.
  • Existing coal-fired plants, which provide about half of our electricity, would be shut down, requiring nuclear generation capacity would have to expand by more than 150 percent, to 1,982 billion kilowatt-hours from the current 782 billion, by 2050.
  • Such controls would reduce gross domestic product (GDP) by as much as seven percent (over $2.8 trillion) by 2050 and reduce U.S. manufacturing output by almost 10 percent by 2030.

Source: Pete du Pont, "The Big Chill," Wall Street Journal, June 9, 2008.

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