Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker says U.S. Should Not Sign Climate Pact -
Cites Faulty Science
Senator to go to Copenhagen to Observe Climate Meeting
Roger Wicker Filed 12/15/09 GCN
The last major round of climate negotiations took place in Kyoto,
Japan, in December of 1997. Participating nations produced a worldwide
plan aimed at addressing global warming. The United States never signed on
to that treaty due to the deep concerns of Congress and the Bush
administration. The countries that did ratify the
Kyoto protocol committed to reduce their carbon emissions. Under the
agreement, if countries exceeded preset emission caps, they would purchase
“credits” from other countries that released fewer emissions. This type of
policy is known as a “cap and trade” system.
Twelve years later, President Obama is set to travel to Copenhagen,
Denmark, to participate in the current round of climate negotiations.
Schedule permitting, I hope to attend also with a different point of
view. The President should not commit the U.S. to a pact that is neither
predicated on proven science nor has the necessary backing of Congress.
First, there is a weak scientific basis for the cap and trade
approach. Science shows that there is an increase of carbon dioxide in
Earth’s atmosphere. But it has not been compellingly proven that mankind
is responsible for the rise in atmospheric CO2, nor is it clear what
impact CO2 has on Earth’s temperatures.
There are nearly 450 academic peer-reviewed journal articles
questioning man-made global warming. Over 31,000 American scientists have
publicly rejected the science behind the Kyoto Protocol. In late November,
we saw one of the sharpest blows to the global warming movement yet. A
decade’s worth of email correspondence between leading British and
American scientists revealed that some global warming proponents have
suppressed scientific findings that undermine their case.
Second, President Obama should not promise the U.S. will fall in
step with the goals of Copenhagen without Congress, and the American
people who have elected us, behind the pact. Weakening support for the
Senate cap and trade bill is a clear indicator that the President has not
achieved congressional consent. Senators from both sides of the aisle are
unwilling to embrace cap and trade legislation because of the devastating
impact it would have on American families. The proposal would levy a
massive energy tax on Americans, forcing them to pay higher prices for
gasoline, groceries, and utilities. The Obama administration’s own
estimate found that a cap and trade scheme could cost American families an
extra $1,761 per year.
Our nation can ill-afford the economic devastation that would result
from cap and trade. If our businesses are subject to an energy tax, we
would risk sending our jobs to global competitors. American manufacturers
and small businesses would be hit with skyrocketing energy costs.
Meanwhile, they would compete against manufacturers in China and India
producing the same goods for less. Rising operating costs and falling
revenue would force manufacturers to lay off workers. U.S. Senator Sherrod
Brown, a Democrat from Ohio, recently discussed how the cap and trade
proposal would drive jobs overseas. He told The Hill newspaper that “it
really does say to manufacturing, ‘Go to China, where they have weaker
environmental standards.’ And that’s a very bad message in bad economic
times – in any economic times.”
Despite the flimsy science behind man-made global warming and the
Senate’s stalled cap and trade bill, international climate negotiators are
counting on a new administration to seal America’s agreement at
Copenhagen. Those who hope President Obama will sign a new treaty are
likely encouraged by the recent Environmental Protection Agency
declaration that CO2 is a pollutant. This outrageous decision gives the
Obama administration – through the EPA – power to regulate greenhouse
gases without congressional approval. I hope this is not an indicator of
what the President intends to convey to the world in Copenhagen.
Considering all that is at stake, it is important that both sides of
this debate be represented at the summit. If the congressional calendar
allows, I plan to travel to Copenhagen with a number of my colleagues. Our
goal is to observe proceedings and to express the deep concern many
lawmakers and Americans share on this consequential issue.
Congress has the authority and responsibility to look at both the
science and the economics of global warming and to weigh its merits and
shortcomings. From that debate, we should set the laws for the protection
and prosperity of our nation. Based on what we now know, there is great
cause for skepticism and scrutiny.