ALEC Offers Guidebook on State Greenhouse Gas Regulation

Published May 1, 2003

With the failure of the Kyoto Protocol at the federal level, several states are advancing so-called “son-of-Kyoto” legislation at the state level to eliminate affordable hydrocarbon-based fuels–such as coal, petroleum, and natural gas–from the nation’s energy mix, according to a guidebook for state legislators prepared by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

“Like Mark Twain, the reports of Kyoto’s death in this country have been greatly exaggerated,” said Sandy Liddy Bourne, director of ALEC’s Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Task Force.

According to the guidebook, Energy, Environment, and Economics, states introduced more than 60 bills in the 2001-2002 legislative session that explicitly seek to regulate carbon dioxide. Many other measures and resolutions were introduced attempting to list carbon dioxide as a pollutant.

Proposals for subsidizing alternative energy and renewable fuels with tax dollars are also multiplying in the states as back-door approaches to eliminate carbon-based fuels from the nation’s energy mix.

Dangerous Trojan Horse

“Carbon dioxide is beneficial to plant and human life alike. The effort to regulate it as a greenhouse gas is a Trojan Horse attempt to level the playing field in the energy sector of the free market.” said Bourne. “Losing fuel diversity can only be harmful to our economy and ultimately the environment itself.

“States should reject every form of Kyoto legislation for the very same reasons as our leaders in Washington, DC have rejected the Kyoto Protocol,” said Bourne. “The Kyoto Protocol is just another highly regressive energy tax on America’s working families, with no measurable benefit to environmental or human health.”

ALEC’s guidebook–offering state legislators policy tools and model bills–is designed to assist states in evaluating fuel supplies and energy production and the economic impact of carbon dioxide or multi-pollutant standards.

“Now more than ever it is essential for state legislators to have the tools they need to make science-based decisions about energy and the environment,” said Bourne. “This guidebook will empower state legislators to take the lead in ensuring public policy initiatives are scientifically based.”

Bob Adams is director of media relations for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). His email address is [email protected].

For more information …

Updated information on the status of measures introduced in the 2002-2003 legislative session is available on the ALEC Web site at