Members of Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy and consumer activists from across the Lone Star State descended on Austin in early March to rally against the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol.
“The Kyoto Protocol will cost American consumers and taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars for the sake of something that the world’s best scientists can’t agree is a problem,” said Peggy Venable, director of Texas CSE.
The rally took place prior to a March 7 conference at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas. Conference participants debated whether the U.S. should ratify the Kyoto Protocol.
“President Clinton signed the Kyoto Protocol more than two years ago, but he has yet to send it to the Senate for approval,” added Venable. “If the treaty is as good for the country and the environment as claimed, why won’t the President let it be debated so the public can be informed of its merits?”
During the conference, when asked by CSE activists when the Clinton administration would submit the treaty to the Senate, John Gibson, International Policy Liaison for the White House Task Force on Global Climate Change, responded cryptically. “The goal is to complete the rules and mechanisms,” Gibson said. “It is not ready.”
“Not ready? Then why did President Clinton sign it in the first place?” responded Venable.
Ironically, Gibson had titled his remarks to the conference, “Why the United States Should Ratify and Implement the Kyoto Protocol.”
Outside the conference room, several of the activists wore costumes highlighting particular economic and scientific problems associated with global warming–including one “mad scientist” who carried a sign saying, “Al Gore Invented Global Warming.”
“With gas prices already over $1.50 a gallon, the last thing we need is a treaty that will raise them even higher,” said Carol Jones, a Texas CSE field director from Marble Falls.
If ratified by the U.S. Senate, the Kyoto Protocol would legally bind the United States to cut its electricity and fuel consumption by 30 to 40 percent. According to the Department of Energy, such restrictions would cost the U.S. economy a staggering $397 billion.