U.S. Senate Punts Boxer-Lieberman-Warner Bill

No further debate on the ‘most important issue facing the country’


WASHINGTON, D.C.Thomas Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research (IER), issued the following statement today in response to the U.S. Senate’s cloture vote on the Boxer-Lieberman-Warner climate change legislation.  Forty-eight Senators voted to halt debate on the bill.  Another six Senators, including the Republican and Democratic nominees for president, issued statements indicating they too would have voted to end debate had they been present.

“The proponent’s of this legislation frequently declare that climate change is the most important challenge facing the globe, yet they were only willing to devote three days to debate the issue and sixteen of them didn’t even bother to show up to vote,” Pyle said.  “And we call this the most deliberative body in the world?”

“Unfortunately, today’s vote was symptomatic of the national debate over climate change,” Pyle continued.  “Supporters of Kyoto-style legislation approach the debate with closed minds and open mouths, berating those who wish to discuss the substance, consider the costs, and weigh the potential benefits. That’s unfortunate, but in this case, the tie goes to American families, who can breathe a sigh of relief knowing this bill is dead…for now.”

Both independent and federal government studies alike have concluded that the Boxer-Lieberman-Warner bill would have catastrophic impacts on jobs, household income, gasoline and home-heating prices, and cost taxpayers trillions of dollars.  Each of the studies makes wildly optimistic assumptions just to keep the costs of the legislation under fourteen figures. For example, the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) core analysis assumes that:

  • 199 new nuclear power plants will be constructed and operational by 2030 to generate an additional 268 gigawatts of electricity.
  • 168 new coal plants with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies will be constructed and operational by 2030.
  • 363 new biomass energy plants will be constructed and operational by 2030..
  • 1420 massive new wind farms will be constructed and operational by 2030.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the bill being considered by the Senate may decrease global concentrations of greenhouse gasses by 7-10 parts per million (ppm) in 2050. That, based on the calculations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), would lower global temperatures by eighteen one hundredths of one degree. 

The Institute for Energy Research (IER) is a not-for-profit public foundation that conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets.  Founded in 1989, IER is funded entirely by tax deductible contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations. No financial support is sought for or accepted from government (taxpayers).




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