A Lesson from 1997 on EPA’s "New" Energy Tax
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WASHINGTON--U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) spoke on the Senate floor yesterday on the rule the EPA announced this week that would place new carbon dioxide emissions regulations on existing power plants.
Sen. Cornyn recalled the Senate’s bipartisan opposition to these regulations when they were first proposed under the Kyoto Protocol, including criticism by then-Senator John Kerry (D-MA) and then-Illinois State Senator Barack Obama.
Excerpts of his remarks are below.
“Back in 1997, members of the Senate were concerned about a Clinton Administration, that they might sign a global climate change treaty that imposed higher costs on the United States while exempting developing countries like China or India.
“Don't just take my word for it. Listen to one of the most prominent supporters of the 1997 resolution. That would be Secretary of State John Kerry, now, then-Senator John Kerry, who was then the Junior Senator from Massachusetts.
“He said, and I quote, ‘It’s just common sense that if you're going to do something to effect global climate change that you're going to do it in a fair-minded way...We need to have an agreement that does not leave enormous components of the world's contributors and future contributors of this problem, out of the solution.’
“Another cosponsor, currently Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, who was then a junior senator from Nebraska, described the likely consequences of Kyoto-style agreements in these terms, and I quote, then-Senator Hagel said, ‘As industries flee the United States and other industrialized countries, they would reestablish themselves in developing countries that have a much weaker environmental standards than our own.’
“Just one more point about the Kyoto protocol, voted down, in essence, 17 years ago, unanimously. A year after that, in 1998, there was a then-unknown Illinois State Senator who voted on legislation that denounced Kyoto and prohibited state regulation of greenhouse gases in Illinois, and if you guessed it was Barack Obama, you would be right.”