Lieberman-Warner “Climate Security Act” A Catastrophe of Incredible Proportions

June 3, 2008

I just finished reading Michael Chricton’s well researched and written novel State of Fear. The book presents a compelling case against global warming and against the multi-billion dollar lobbying industry that has arisen around it. Global warning is a theory in great flux as more and more reports come out against the idea. Still, popular culture, major celebrities, and countless politicians are using this increasingly questionable theory to raise taxes and propose laws that will negatively change the landscape of America for decades to come.

In appendix I of State of Fear, Chrichton discusses the danger of the politicizing of science. He cites the eugenics movement of the 20’s as a tragic example of this. I highly recommend picking up this book and at least reading the comments Chrichton makes at the end of the book.

Here is what he had to say:

“Imagine that there is a new scientific theory that warns of an impending crisis, and points to a way out. This theory quickly draws support from leading scientists, politicians, and celebrities around the world. Research is funded by distinguished philanthropies, and carried out at prestigious universities. The crisis is reported frequently in the media. The science is taught in college and high school classrooms.” -Michael Chricton on eugenics.

Basically, the politicization of science is a bad idea and history proves this.

Now, what effects will Lieberman-Warner have on the overall economy of the United States and her citizens? For that, I turn to research done by The Heritage Foundation. You can find the full text of the following excerpts here.

Economic Costs of Lieberman–Warner

It is hard to think of any economic activity that does not involve energy, and there is not one that would not be made more expensive by Lieber­man–Warner. No matter how mea­sured, the impacts of the bill on the American economy overall as well as on individuals and households would be substantial and hardly dif­ferent from a massive energy tax.

The impact on the overall econ­omy is reflected in cumulative gross domestic product (GDP) losses esti­mated at $1.7 trillion (with generous assumptions) to $4.8 trillion (with more realistic assumptions) by 2030. The single-year GDP losses would range from $111 billion to $436 bil­lion, or $949 to $3,726 per house­hold for each of the nation’s 117 million households. (See Chart 2.) Thus, the annual costs of the Climate Security Act would significantly exceed the Department of Homeland Security’s 2007 expenditures of $43 bil­lion and could also exceed the $155 billion spent on highways at all levels of government in 2005.

After-tax incomes decline by $47 billion to $120 billion in 2015, or $402 to $1,026 per household. Declines in consumption average $54 billion to $113 billion over the forecast period, or $462 to $966 per household annually.

My comments- Are you kidding me? This bill amounts to a massive tax increase on the average American of nearly $1000-4000! That is not just increasing taxes on the rich like Democrats enjoy doing so much. This will adversely effect every American living in the country. Not only that, but income decreases and so does spending. How is this bill good? Do these people understand basic economics? Let’s see what other good things our government is going to accomplish with this bill:

America’s Climate Security Act would spark a temporary increase in employment in the first few years as regulated companies invest heavily to comply. After that, however, the bill causes job losses that are expected to exceed 500,000 before 2030 even under the most optimistic assumptions. (See Chart 4.) It should be noted that these are net job losses after the jobs created by the Climate Security Act are taken into account. Particularly hard hit are manufacturing jobs as higher energy costs dampen several energy-intensive sectors. (See Chart 5.)Some of the lost jobs will be destroyed entirely, while oth­ers will be outsourced to nations like China that are unlikely to place similar, if any, constraints on their emissions.

My comments- Oh good! We will outsource even more of our jobs to pollution powerhouse China just so that some celebrities and politicians can assuage their consciences and say they are preventing an unproven theory from becoming reality. They will do this by moving more manufacturing to China which will in turn equal a net increase in pollution because of China’s less stringent policies. These people are completely short-sighted and insane!

While the Lieberman–Warner bill lowers many household incomes, it raises the cost of living, par­ticularly by raising energy prices. To meet the bill’s targets, consumer energy demand must be driven down, which is achieved through higher prices. The price per gallon of gasoline is expected to increase by at least 29 percent by 2030: about $1.10 more per gallon based on current prices. By 2030, average household electricity costs are also expected to increase by $647 annually, and natural gas is expected to increase by $303. (See Chart 6.)

As noted, Lieberman–Warner operates like an energy tax, and since low-income households spend a larger percentage of income on energy, the tax is very regressive.[12] Some of the proceeds from the Lieberman–Warner bill are directed toward pro­grams to help energy consumers and low-income households in particular, but it is unclear how well these income-redistribution schemes will work. In any event, it is unlikely that they could make much of a dent in the damage caused by the bill.

My comments- Our elected officials, while crying that oil companies are fleecing us at the pump, are attempting to pass legislation that could raise gas prices by 29 percent! In front of the camera they say they are trying to lower gas prices and help the American people, but the fact is they are hurting us (should this bill pass). So, the bill amounts to a regressive tax that, ‘gasp!’ hurts low income families! Naturally, big government will come to the rescue and extend some sort of convoluted hand-out to them. Why don’t they just avoid the problem in the first place and stop trying to pass environmental legislation on an unproven theory?

This bill is Exhibit A of the sheer stupidity our government is capable of and also the influence and power of environmental lobbying groups in Washington. If politicians took the time to have their staff do some independent research they would find that global warming theory is in a state of flux with more and more scientists lining up against it. However, they seem unwilling to do this and continue to bow at the feet of popular media and lobbying groups just so that they can tout their “green credentials” at the next election.

The way our government is going is pushing me to become more and more libertarian (also the more I study about the founding fathers the more I believe that a form of libertarianism was the ideal they were striving for).

There is one sure fire way to fix this mess. Term limits.