NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


September 22, 2004

Tony Blair's former environmental minister, Michael Meacher, is urging him to tell President Bush that the quid of Britain's support in the war on terror has quo: United States support in the war against global warming. This trivializes a very serious matter and all Americans should take offense, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).

At the 10th anniversary of the Prince of Wales Business and Environmental Program, Blair took pains to note that the United States refused to sign the 1997 Kyoto Protocol -- a treaty that would have require the United States and other industrialized nations (but not heavy polluters such as Russia and China) to cut greenhouse gases below 1990 levels by 2012.

Problem is, says IBD, while the costs of enforcing Kyoto are still largely unknown, what is known is significant:

  • Bill Clinton's Energy Department reckoned that if Kyoto were forced on the country, the prices for gasoline and electricity would jump 52 percent and 86 percent respectively, and that gross domestic product (GDP) and disposable income would fall 4.2 percent and 2.5 percent.
  • A separate study from the Dallas Federal Reserve warned that even under the most optimistic projection, complying with the treaty would cut per-person income in the United States by $1,320 a year by 2010.

Blair and the leaders of other industrialized countries, many of whom appear to be doing little to reduce emissions on their own, should carefully weigh these costs before they take their Kyoto support any further, says IBD.

Source: Editorial, "Payback for Blair?" Investor's Business Daily, September 16, 2004.


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