NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Backdoor Kyoto

July 19, 2002

On June 27, 2002, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed S.556. This bill, which resembles the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, would lump carbon dioxide with three recognized pollutants -- nitrous oxides, sulfur dioxide, and mercury -- and would limit CO2 emissions.

  • According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), these CO2 limits would cause a loss of about one million jobs and a reduction in gross domestic product of $40 billion to $80 billion -- or about $400 to $800 per American family.
  • Limiting CO2 would require a significant shift from coal -- which provided about 51 percent of U.S. electric power generated -- to other fuels.
  • According to the economic consulting firm WEFA, the bill would result in sharply higher prices for all fuels, and these price increase would disproportionately harm the poor for whom utility bills comprise a much larger share of income.

Critics say the Senate should focus on developing more certainty about the causes and cures for potential climate change due to CO2 emissions, rather than on passing legislation regulating CO2, something we produce by breathing.

Source: James K. Glassman (American Enterprise Institute) and Sallie Baliunas (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), "Turning Up the Heat on C02, Global Warming Bill Threatens Economy," Washington Times, July 4, 2002.


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