Senator John Kerry’s Energy Plan Disagrees with Facts and Himself, by Tom Randall

BACKGROUND: Senator John Kerry (D-MA) delivered a rambling presentation of his “energy plan” on January 22, in which he grossly misrepresented facts and contradicted himself. In doing so, he has aligned himself with the extreme left-wing “environmentalists” of his party while risking the alienation of the more moderate labor union-affiliated Democratic Party supporters who understand that abundant, affordable energy is essential to job creation. The following are Kerry quotes, downloaded from his web site on January 23, 2002 and our responses.

Senator Kerry: “America take note: if we enact the entire Bush energy plan we will find ourselves twenty years from now more dependent on foreign oil — than we are today.”

Response: Mr. Kerry also said in his speech: “…we must enter this debate understanding that for 30-50 years in the future, like it or not, we will continue to have major dependency on fossil fuels.” President Bush’s energy plan recognizes this fact by authorizing oil exploration in Alaska while advancing research into clean coal technology as well as alternative and renewable fuels.

“Scientists believe literally catastrophic consequences from global warming will occur in the absence of serious emissions reductions.”

Response: Completely misleading and an apparent attempt to scare the public. In fact, the vast majority of reputable scientists, including those who have worked for the United Nation’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) either flatly disagree with the notion of global warming caused by man-made “greenhouse gases” or believe too little is known about the mechanics of climate change to make any predictions.

For more information on global warming view our National Policy Analysis #361: “A Global Warming Primer” by Gerald Marsh at

For information on the latest National Academies of Science study on global warming see: “Latest NAS Global Warming Study Poorly Reported” by Tom Randall at

Additional information is available from “Senate Democrats’ Energy Bill Promotes Global Warming Theory” by Gretchen Randall

Kerry: “Nothing is more indicative of old thinking, special interest policy than the attempt by the administration to falsely sell the American people a rationale for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). they make up arguments for despoiling a unique and irreplaceable arctic environment for a quantity of petroleum that simply will not reduce the fact of our dependency on high risk foreign oil.”

Response: The President’s proposal is to drill in just 2,000 of ANWR’s 19,500,000 acres — one/ten-thousandth on the refuge’s total area — land that was set aside for exploration by Congress when the refuge was created.

Response: The amount of oil possibly available from ANWR is equal to half of all oil imported from the Persian Gulf over 36 years or all imports from Saudi Arabia for 30 years, according to Energy Information Agency statistics. This is the length of time Kerry said we would have to rely on imported oil.

For additional information about exploration in ANWR see: “Environmental Groups Target Congress on Bush Energy Plan/ANWR” by Gretchen Randall at

Kerry: “the refuge would not even reach peak production for 20 years.”

Response: Guess we better get started. This is still within Kerry’s estimate of our dependency on foreign oil. Production would actually begin in eight to ten years.

Kerry: “I see a world where even as we drill because it makes economic sense and we have to, our primary focus shifts to cajoling and exciting a new market place for those alternative and renewable energy sources because there are compelling reasons to do so.”

Response: Cajoling and exciting?

Response: Did he say he sees a world where we drill because it makes economic sense and we have to? Then why doesn’t he want to do it?

Response: Land area required to generate 500 megawatts of electricity which would be enough for 500,000 homes: with natural gas 55 acres; with solar power 6,720 acres; with wind 29,250 acres. The technology appears to be further off than Mr. Kerry can see.

For more, see: National Policy Analysis #375, “Wishes Won’t Fuel Our Economy: We Need Oil Drilling by Amy Ridenour,

Kerry: “During the 1970s, America created the Corporate Average Fuel Economyor CAFE — program to increase auto efficiency. This was the right decision.” A few paragraphs later he says, “our vehicle fuel efficiency is worse now than it has been in twenty years.”

Response: While Mr. Kerry goes on to praise the program and advocate stricter standards, he admits the program has been a failure.

Response: The principal method for increasing fuel economy is vehicle weight reduction. Lighter vehicles are less safe. The National Highway Transportation Administration has determined 302 additional people die in traffic accidents every year for every 100 pounds removed from vehicle weight. Between 1975 and 1985, alone over 1,000 pounds were taken out of the average vehicle’s weight, largely due to CAFE.

That means the standards have caused deaths equivalent to one World Trade Center disaster every year.

For more information, see: National Policy Analysis #256: “Raising Sports Utility Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Standards would Kill Americans” by David Ridenour at

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.