Senate Should Oppose Energy Rationing

Published July 1, 2003

May 5, 2003

The Honorable Mr. Henry Hyde
Chairman, Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Hyde:

The undersigned nonprofit organizations write to share our concerns with the sense of the Congress language on climate change adopted by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 9 as part of State Department authorization legislation.

We think the scientific findings are tendentious, misleading, and in one instance based on a discredited source. We that the resolutions are ill-advised and would put the United States back on the calamitous course of pursuing centrally planned energy consumption and negotiating destructive but pointless international agreements.

In our view, the first finding would be more accurate if it read, “Newspaper headlines claim that evidence continues to build that increases in atmospheric concentrations of manmade greenhouse gases are contributing to global climate change.” The fact is that all kinds of evidence continue to build, including considerable evidence that human effects on global climate are small.

The second finding quotes the brief Summary for Policymakers of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s massive Third Assessment Report. The summary was produced by governments assisted by United Nations scientific officials in order to support the Kyoto agenda. We do not believe a reading of the full Third Assessment Report, which was produced by scientists, supports the summary’s claim.

As for the “expectation” that average global temperatures will rise 2.5 to 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit in the next century, the IPCC has been careful to explain these are not predictions but rather are based on possible scenarios. Many analysts have concluded the more extreme scenarios are practically impossible.

The third finding quotes a National Research Council panel endorsing the IPCC’s conclusions and then quotes the same panel as to “considerable uncertainty” about these conclusions. The full NRC report contains many similar expressions of uncertainty, and several other recent NRC reports on climate identify even more uncertainties.

The fourth finding pointlessly observes the IPCC has stated sea levels have risen, etc. Not mentioned is the fact the IPCC correctly does not attribute sea level rise to rising greenhouse gas emissions. Sea levels have been rising since the last Ice Age, and most scientists believe they will continue to rise until the next Ice Age.

The fifth scientific finding relies on the National Assessment on climate change, which has been thoroughly discredited in the scientific community and was disavowed by the Bush administration. It is not, as the finding claims, “a United States Government report.” The computer models used to forecast possible impacts of climate change are not capable of making reliable regional forecasts, according to one of the modeling teams employed.

In our view, the resolutions are even more flawed than the findings. The first two resolutions recommend 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. As many leading global warming alarmists have discovered, the Kyoto Protocol is a dead end (or, in the polite language of diplomacy, a cul-de-sac) 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 the Kyoto Protocol is collapsing and other industrialized countries that have ratified the Protocol are discovering they cannot meet their targets is not the time to jump back on the Kyoto bandwagon.

For these reasons, we think the Congress should not adopt any resolutions on climate policy without much more careful consideration and a much fuller debate. In the (as we believe) unlikely event that man-made climate change poses potential problems in the future, we think the only reasonable way to prepare to deal with these problems is by adopting policies that will foster long-term technological transformation and increase our capability to respond to challenges.

Thank you for your attention to our thoughts and concerns.

Yours sincerely,

Fred Smith, President
and Myron Ebell, Director, Global Warming Policy
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Paul M. Weyrich, National Chairman
Coalitions for America

Grover Norquist, President
Americans for Tax Reform

Paul Beckner, President
Citizens for a Sound Economy

David Keene, Chairman
American Conservative Union

Malcolm Wallop, Chairman
Frontiers of Freedom

Duane Parde, Executive Director
American Legislative Exchange Council

James L. Martin, President
60 Plus Association

Tom Schatz, President
Citizens Against Government Waste

John Berthoud, President
National Taxpayers Union

Amy Ridenour, President
National Center for Public Policy Research

Frank J. Gaffney Jr., President
Center for Security Policy

Karen Kerrigan, Chairman
Small Business Survival Committee

Tom DeWeese, President
American Policy Center

Joseph L. Bast, President
The Heartland Institute

Paul Driessen, Senior Fellow
Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow

Steven Milloy, President
Citizens for the Integrity of Science

Lori Waters, Executive Director
Eagle Forum

Richard Lessner, Executive Director
American Renewal

Terrence Scanlon, President
Capital Research Center

Dennis T. Avery, Director
Center for Global Food Issues, Hudson Institute

Leroy Watson, Legislative Director
The National Grange

Kevin L. Kearns, President
U.S. Business and Industry Council

Bonner Cohen, Senior Fellow
Lexington Institute

Michael Hardiman, Legislative Director
American Land Rights Association

C. Preston Noell III, President
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.

Ron Pearson, President
Council for America

Jeffrey B. Gayner, Chairman
Americans for Sovereignty

Chuck Muth, President
Citizen Outreach

Benjamin C. Works, Executive Director

Allan Parker, Founder and CEO
Texas Justice Foundation

Alan Caruba, Founder
The National Anxiety Center

Mark Q. Rhoads, Acting President
U. S. Internet Council