NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Kyoto Lite

November 7, 2003

With their "Climate Stewardship Act," Sens. John McCain, Arizona Republican, and Joseph Lieberman, Connecticut Democrat, are pushing an anti-air pollution proposal that would implement the Kyoto Protocol's restrictions without having to get it ratified, says Pete du Pont, policy chairman of the National Center for Policy Analysis.

The bill would require the commercial, industrial, transportation and electrical power sectors in the United States to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to 2000 levels by 2010, and to 1990 levels by 2016.

What impact would this have had on the U.S. economy? According to an analysis by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the Congressional Budget Office, it would be disastrous:

  • For example, the restrictions would likely increase energy costs by 30 percent to 50 percent, and reduce U.S. Gross Domestic Product by $106 billion; that amounts to a tax increase of about $1,000 on every American household.
  • Specifically, the proposed restrictions would drastically reduce the use of coal, and possibly eliminate more than 50,000 coal industry jobs.
  • The EIA study concludes the price of natural gas would increase 16 percent in 2010 and 46 percent in 2025.

If enacting these restrictions would save the world from environmental collapse, as many environmental activists would have us believe, it might be worth the economic pain, says du Pont.

One problem though, is that neither Kyoto nor McCain-Lieberman's Kyoto Lite would have any impact on future global warming. According to the National Center for Atmospheric Research, if all the signatories to the Kyoto agreement meet their greenhouse gas reduction targets, the temperature difference would be so small it couldn't be measured by ground-based temperature gauges.

Source: Pete du Pont, "Strike four on Kyoto," Washington Times, November 2, 2003.


Browse more articles on Environment Issues