Bush’s Carbon Dioxide Decision a Victory for Consumers

U.S. Department of Energy Study Shows Carbon Dioxide Emissions Caps would have Added up to $90 Billion to the Nation’s Annual Electrical Bill

President George W. Bush’s decision to not support carbon dioxide regulation, the greenhouse gas alleged to cause dangerous global warming, should be applauded as a victory for America consumers and a victory for sound science, according to the National Center For Public Policy Research.

During the presidential race, then-Governor Bush stated that he would seek to "establish mandatory reduction targets for emissions of four main pollutants: sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, mecury and carbon dioxide." In addition, there are several bills before Congress that authorize caps on carbon dioxide emissions.

However, the most reliable scientific evidence lends no credence to environmentalist warnings that rising carbon dioxide emissions from cars, power plants and other sources is causing discernible global warming. NASA weather satellites, the most accurate barometers of global temperature, show that the Earth slightly cooled since 1979. Furthermore, one of the leading scientists promoting the global warming theory, Dr. James Hansen, says he now sees no evidence that carbon dioxide is responsible for any global warming. Absent proof that it causes dangerous warming, carbon dioxide is simply a benign, non-polluting substance that plants need to grow.

In addition to the considerable scientific uncertainty concerning man-made warming, carbon dioxide regulation runs completely counter to the President’s promise to the American people to promote access to affordable energy. A study by the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that carbon dioxide regulation would add about $90 billion to the nation’s electrical generating costs — with the consumer ultimately picking up the tab. If President Bush had decided to regulate CO2, electricity prices would have increased as much as 43% in 2010, with the average household having to divert an extra $200 from health care, housing and other vital necessities to pay the electric bill each year.

Keeping his promise to lower Americans’ energy bills, President Bush rightly decided to not support costly proposals to regulate carbon dioxide. In a letter to concerned U.S. Senators, the President said that "including caps on carbon dioxide emissions… would lead to… significantly higher energy prices [and] we must be very careful not to take actions that could harm consumers."

"President Bush understands the vital importance of energy to America’s economy and its importance to the everyday lives of the American people," says John Carlisle, director of the Environmental Policy Task Force. "Americans voted for George W. Bush, in part, because they strongly supported his arguments that the government must do more to promote domestic energy development to lessen U.S. dependence on foreign oil and contain energy prices. Regulating carbon dioxide threatened to negate the President’s laudable energy program and break an important promise to the American people."

The Environmental Policy Task Force is a project of The National Center For Public Policy Research, a non-partisan, non-profit education foundation. For more information, contact John Carlisle at The National Center For Public Policy Research at 202-507-6398 or [email protected].

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.