FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 21, 2004
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACTS:
JOE RINZEL (202) 466-3800
WASHINGTON, D.C. --- With the failure of the Kyoto Protocol at the federal level, several states are advancing so-called “Sons-of-Kyoto” legislation to eliminate affordable fossil fuels --- such as coal, petroleum, and natural gas --- from the nation’s energy mix, according to the second edition of “Energy, Environment, and Economics 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, ALEC's Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Task Force Director.
According to the guidebook states introduced close to 100 bills in the 2003 legislative session that explicitly seek to regulate carbon dioxide, although there are many additional measures that attempt to label carbon dioxide as a pollutant. Furthermore, taxpayer subsidies of alternative energy and renewable fuels are multiplying in the states as back-door approaches to eliminate carbon-based fuels.
"Carbon dioxide, the inescapable by-product of burning fossil fuels, is beneficial to plant and human life alike. The effort to regulate it as a greenhouse gas is an attempt to tax energy." said Bourne. "Losing fuel diversity can only be harmful to our economy and ultimately the environment itself."
The states that appear closest to regulating carbon dioxide emissions at this time are: Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin. States that already regulate carbon dioxide in some form include California, Oregon, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. For a summary and map of greenhouse gas action in the states, go to www.ALEC.org.
“States should reject every form of Kyoto legislation for the very same reasons as our leaders in Washington, D.C.,” 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."
According to the Energy Information Agency (EIA), fossil fuels supply 70 percent of the U.S.'s electricity and 84 percent of our total energy usage. In fact, the cost of reducing carbon emissions 7 percent below 1990 levels, as required by the Kyoto Protocol, would be expensive to the U.S. economy, (estimates range from $130 billion to $400 billion annually). For the average American, electricity costs would increase by as high as 86 percent; gasoline prices could rise 66 cents per gallon; and fuel oil prices would rise by as much as 76 percent higher while natural gas prices would skyrocket by as much as 147 percent above current prices.
ALEC's guidebook---offering America's 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 regulation. This guidebook will empower state legislators to take the lead in ensuring public policy initiatives are scientifically based.
For more information contact Joe Rinzel at (202) 466-3800.