Hispanics Would Be
Hard-Hit by McCain-Lieberman Global Warming Proposal
October 27, 2003
BACKGROUND: Management Information Services, Inc., a national
economics firm with a client roster representing both business
and environmental organizations,1
has released a study showing that passage of S. 139, the McCain-Lieberman
global warming bill, would impede, or even reverse, the substantial
economic progress that Hispanics have achieved over the past
McCain-Lieberman would require the EPA
to create rules limiting greenhouse gas emissions from the electric
power, transportation, and industrial sectors and a small portion
of the commercial sector. Specifically, these four key sectors
of the American economy would be forced to reduce their greenhouse
emissions (gases such as carbon dioxide) to 2000 levels by 2010
and to 1990 levels by 2016.
The study, "Potential Impact on
Hispanics of S. 139, the McCain-Lieberman Bill," was released
by the non-profit organization Americans for Balanced Energy
In an October 22 press release,2 citing the study's findings, the group cites
the following as expected impacts upon the Hispanic community,
should McCain-Lieberman become law:
Hispanic earnings will suffer, the growth
rate in Hispanic real wages -- already below average -- will
be reduced by half, and the income differential between non-Hispanic
Whites and Hispanics will increase.
Millions of Hispanic jobs will be lost,
Hispanic unemployment will increase by 23 percent, and the progress
made during the 1990s in reducing Hispanic unemployment will
The problems of unemployed Hispanic workers
will be exacerbated, and for young Hispanic workers -- who may
soon comprise 30 percent of new U.S. labor force entrants --
the situation will be bleak, as they will bear a disproportionate
share of the jobless burden.
Poverty among Hispanics will increase
by 15 percent, and the number of Hispanics lacking health care
coverage will increase.
Hispanic living standards will decline,
incomes will be reduced, the costs of the basic goods upon which
Hispanics must spend their reduced incomes will increase, and
Hispanics will be forced to spend more of their incomes on basic
The situation will be even more acute
with respect to energy costs, and Hispanics will have to increase
their expenditures on natural gas by 50 percent and on electricity
by 60 percent.
Millions of poor Hispanics will face
a stark choice between "heating and eating," and of
trading off increased energy and utility bills against food,
clothing, and the basic necessities.
The press release also states the report,
which relied heavily on analysis done by the U.S. Energy Information
Administration, notes that McCain-Lieberman would increase U.S.
energy costs by 30-50 percent, reduce the rate of growth of GDP
by 25 percent and of disposable income by 30 percent, increase
unemployment by nine percent, and increase inflation by 27 percent.
The impacts would cumulatively result in a loss of nearly $1.6
trillion (2002 dollars) in GDP, seven million jobs, and $2,800
(2002 dollars) in disposable income to every person in the United
TEN SECOND RESPONSE: Any environmental impact of McCain-Lieberman
would most likely be too small to measure, yet the negative economic
impact, especially upon Hispanics and low-income Americans, would
THIRTY SECOND RESPONSE: The Lieberman/McCain plan would inevitably
lead to energy scarcity and higher energy prices. Experts also
predict it would kill seven million jobs, increase unemployment
by nine percent and increase inflation by 27 percent.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Press release of Americans for Balanced
Energy Choices, October 22, 2003, available online at http://www.BalancedEnergy.org/hispanicstudy/index.asp
Management Information Services, Inc.,
"Potential Impact on Hispanics of S. 139, the McCain-Lieberman
Bill," full report (pdf copy) at http://www.BalancedEnergy.org/hispanicstudy/hispanic_study.pdf
by Amy Ridenour
The National Center for Public Policy Research
Contact the author at: 202-543-4110 or [email protected]
The National Center for Public
501 Capitol Court, N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20002
1 Management Information Services, Inc. client
list, downloaded from http://www.misi-net.com/clients.html
on October 26, 2003.
2 Press release of Americans for Balanced Energy
Choices, October 22, 2003, available online at http://www.BalancedEnergy.org/hispanicstudy/index.asp
as of October 26, 2003. Links to the full study were available
on this page as of October 27.