NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

CLEAR SKIES AHEAD?

May 27, 2005

Last month, the Kyoto Protocol took effect without U.S. participation. The day before the accord took effect, White House press secretary Scott McClellan stated that the United States is "a leader in advancing the science of climate change" and noted that the White House advocates investing $3.6 billion in tax incentives for renewable and energy-efficient technologies over the next five years.

Evidently, this is not enough to satisfy the states:

  • California is cracking down on carbon dioxide emissions from cars and trucks.
  • Nine Northeastern states are developing a "cap-and-trade" program to cut carbon dioxide emissions from electric utilities.
  • New Mexico is capitalizing on its potential for harnessing solar and wind power.
  • Pennsylvania is building wind-energy facilities; new legislation says that 18 percent of the state?s energy must be generated from clean sources within the next 15 years.

Jim Connaughton, head of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, is critical of state proposals to regulate carbon dioxide emissions. "A state-based carbon cap," he warns, "could serve as a significant constraint on growth" and "drive manufacturing, especially energy-intensive manufacturing, to other countries."

The flurry of state environmental action has raised serious concerns among businesses that operate in more than one state. "For most companies, a patchwork set of state regulations is very difficult to manage," says Kyle Danish (Van Ness Feldman). "Most businesses are concerned about the trend toward state regulation."

Source: Margaret Kriz, "Warm-Up Drills," National Journal, March 26, 2005.

 

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