Defeated last June in the U.S. Senate, "America’s Climate
Security Act" (S. 2191), introduced by Sens. Joe Lieberman I-CT and John Warner
R-VA, would have penalized companies that emit greenhouse gases. Called a
"cap-and-trade" program, the bill was basically a tax on the fossil fuels that
currently provide about 85 percent of America’s energy.
According to Senate testimony by Charles River Associates
International, S. 2191 would have cost up to $6 trillion nationally over 40
years. CRAI also estimates that up to 3.4 million jobs may disappear by 2020 if
such "global warming" regulations are enacted.
The economic cost of a cap-and-trade bill would hit Michigan
especially hard. The increase in energy costs would compound the loss of
manufacturing jobs in the state and reduce the disposable income of Michigan
A study of S. 2191 conducted by the American Council for Capital
Formation found that "Michigan would lose 37,400 to 56,260 jobs in 2020 and
91,490 to 121,786 jobs in 2030." The job loss was attributed to "lower
industrial output due to higher energy prices" and "greater competition from
overseas manufacturers with lower energy costs." In other words, multinational
corporations would avoid the compliance costs of regulations by exporting jobs
out of Michigan and the United States altogether. The auto industry, already
burdened with job cuts and a downturn in the economy, would be severely
challenged to comply with the consequences of global warming regulations.
Higher energy prices also reduce the amount of disposable income
in households. The ACCF study reported "Michigan would see disposable household
income reduced by $933 to $3,024 per year by 2020 and $3,867 to $7,051 by 2030."
The impact on utility rates was recently quantified by Duke
Energy — a major supplier of electricity to Midwestern states such as Indiana
and Ohio. Duke Energy’s analysis of S. 2191 "estimated its customers’ power
bills could increase by up to 53 percent when the legislation [becomes]
effective in 2012." ACCF also found that electricity prices in Michigan would
increase by 126 percent to 177 percent.
High energy prices disproportionately harm low- and fixed-income
consumers. A report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office on
cap-and-trade states that, "most of the cost of meeting a cap on CO2 emissions
would be borne by consumers, who would face persistently higher prices for
products such as electricity and gasoline … [P]oorer households would bear a
larger burden relative to their income than wealthier households would."
Sen. Lieberman, an official elected to represent the needs of
his constituents, admits "it’s hard to imagine" how industry and power companies
would meet the demands of S. 2191. Clearly, by introducing the bill, he’s also
admitting he’s not concerned about the economic consequences of his "feel good"
global warming directive.
Affordable, plentiful and reliable energy is the foundation of
our economy. Rising energy costs will lower the standard of living in the United
States and for the residents of Michigan who are already experiencing economic
hardship. Given these dire consequences, we shouldn’t surrender our freedom and
livelihood to unsubstantiated theories about climate change. Let’s leave the "Go
Green" chant to the confines of Michigan State University’s Spartan Stadium.