April 22, 2008

Global Warming--Command And Control Or Technological Approach?

Sen. James Inhofe lays out the economic stakes of a planned cap-and-trade scheme that would only exacerbate current economic downturns by crippling the American economy--and offers in its stead a free market, technology approach that would likely prove immensely more successful in its state goal of cleaning the environment while also keeping the economy strong:
The United States Senate will soon begin to debate a global warming cap-and-trade bill that, if passed, would impose severe economic constraints on American families and American workers for no environmental gain. We have had this debate before, starting with the rejection of the Kyoto Protocol in 1998, then again in 2003, and again in 2005. Each time, these cap-and-trade measures were defeated for two simple reasons: they did not include developing nations; and because of the significant economic impact on the American public. With the American economy facing troubles, now is certainly not the time to try this costly experiment.

What proponents of this bill fail to understand is that the American environmental success story has been built while growing our economy. Over the past three decades, Americans have proven that we can clean up our environment while expanding our population and vibrantly growing our economy. Democrats and their special interest allies have consistently taken the opposite approach and emphasized job-killing regulations and expanding the government’s power. The U.S. can follow a path of onerous government mandates or we can follow a path of developing and encouraging new technologies. A simple history lesson reveals that the technological approach is the only viable path forward as carbon cap-and-trade mandates are proving to be a failure throughout the developed world.
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The Lieberman-Warner command and control path utterly fails in comparison to an approach that embraces and develops new technologies. A technology emphasis is the only politically and economically sustainable path forward. I have long advocated a technology approach that brings in the developing world nations such as China and India. My home state of Oklahoma demonstrates that tomorrow’s energy mix must include more natural gas, wind and geothermal, but it must also include oil, coal, and nuclear energy, which is the world's largest source of emission-free energy. This approach serves multiple purposes – it will reduce air pollution, expand our energy supply, increase trade, and, along with these other goals, reduce greenhouse gases. Developing and expanding domestic energy will translate into energy security and ensure stable sources of supply and well-paying jobs for Americans.

Will the United States Senate choose the economically harmful Lieberman-Warner bill or the new technology path? With five weeks to go until the debate, the question is largely up to you. If you believe, like I do that we must not impose more costly mandates on the American people, I urge you to engage in the debate and contact your Senator and make your voice heard.

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