Perhaps not. Over the summer the House of Representatives passed the Waxman-Markey bill, a massive tax on energy production and use. A Heritage Foundation analysis showed that for a household of four, energy costs (electric, natural gas, gasoline expenses) would rise by $436 in 2012 and by $1,241 by 2035, averaging $829 over that period.
The bill also would weaken our economy. The Heritage analysis estimates the U.S. would lose 1 million jobs (on average) every year through 2035. And that’s counting the “green jobs” the bill would supposedly create.
A Senate committee recently signed off on a similar bill, named Kerry-Boxer. So while the entire Senate may still act sensibly and defeat this measure, it’s clear that the once overwhelming consensus against destroying our economy to combat the supposed threat of global warming is weaker than it once was.
Keep in mind that all this pain comes with virtually no gain. Global temperatures haven’t risen for a decade now. And at least one scientific study estimates that even if the world met Kyoto’s targets, global temperatures would be trimmed by just 0.07 degree Celsius by 2050, a difference too small to measure.
It’s no mystery why developing nations want to force us to comply with emission standards they’re exempt from. But that doesn’t mean U.S. policymakers should go along with this shackling of the American economy.
In Copenhagen, our negotiators should insist that individual nations focus on cutting emissions as they see fit. More importantly, they should make it clear that the U.S. isn’t about to wreck the world’s strongest economy just so we can sign a fashionable treaty.