NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Republican Senator's Energy Legislation is Kyoto-Like

April 11, 2003

Climate provisions in Senator Pete Domenici's new energy legislation would put the United States on a path to the Kyoto treaty that Al Gore negotiated but the Bush Administration repudiated, opines the Wall Street Journal.

Among its provisions:

  • The draft bill would require a national strategy to "stabilize and over time reduce net U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases."
  • It would also create a federal climate czar and office, thus creating a bureaucratic imperative for regulation.
  • The legislation would award "credits" to companies that take early action to reduce CO2 emissions, the first step toward a cap-and-trade system -- which the Journal warns would make business a new lobby for greenhouse gas controls.

The WSJ explains this pre-emptive concession as defensive politics:

  • Republicans describe it privately as the only way to deflect more drastic legislation from Democratic presidential aspirants or GOP liberals.
  • Republican Senators also hope their House brethren will ride to their rescue and kill the worst provisions before they become law.

There is no scientific consensus that greenhouse gases cause the world's modest global warming trend, the Journal says, much less whether that warming will do more harm than good, or whether we can even do anything about it. Therefore, Kyoto opponents should keep fighting on the merits.

Source: Editorial, "A Republican Kyoto," Wall Street Journal, April 8, 2003.

For text (WSJ subscription required),,SB104976564820222800,00.html


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