Policy Groups Question Congress’s Approach to Climate Change

Published May 6, 2003

Washington, D.C., May 6, 2003–The Competitive Enterprise Institute and 32 other public policy groups are raising concerns about the approach Congress is taking to climate change policy in a joint letter to House International Relations Committee Chairman Henry Hyde (R-IL).

In an open joint letter released today, representatives from 33 non-profit organizations explain the flaws with alarmist statements about climate change and science contained in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s State Department authorization bill, urging the House committee not take the same path. The Senate committee findings include exaggerations, misleading statements, out-of-context citations, and reliance on discredited sources. The Committee adopted resolutions based on these flawed premises.

In the last Congress, the House International Relations Committee narrowly approved similar language offered by Rep. Robert Menendez (D-NJ). One Republican (Chris Smith of New Jersey) joined 22 Democrats in favor of the amendment in 2001. Menendez is expected to offer the Senate provisions when the committee marks up the State Department authorization bill on Wednesday. The Senate bill is scheduled to come to the Senate floor on Wednesday as well.

“In our view, the resolutions are even more flawed than the findings,” wrote Myron Ebell, Director of Global Warming Policy at CEI. “The first two resolutions recommend that the U.S. adopt Kyoto-style policies to limit energy use by American consumers. The third resolution urges the U.S. to extend the Kyoto Protocol by negotiating a second round of binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions.”

“The Kyoto Protocol is a dead end … and so too are all similar approaches based on forcing cuts in carbon dioxide emissions. Adopting Kyoto-style policies would have enormous economic costs without making significant reductions in greenhouse gas levels. Just at the moment that the Kyoto Protocol is collapsing and other industrialized countries that have ratified the Protocol are discovering that they cannot meet their targets is not the time to jump back on the Kyoto bandwagon.”

The full text and list of signatories to today’s letter to Chairman Hyde can be found at www.cei.org, or click here. CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government. For more information about CEI, please visit our website at www.cei.org.