Global Warming 'Alarmism' Is Hurting

Tuesday, 03 June 2008 20:00 Kevin Mooney Editorial Dept - Climate Change

Global Warming 'Alarmism' Is Hurting New Jersey Economy, Say Conservatives

Individual liberty and economic freedom are under assault in New Jersey where anti-industrial regulatory schemes are gaining traction because of global warming "alarmism," public officials and taxpayer activists declared last week in Trenton.

State lawmakers in New Jersey and other states have succumbed to the "greatest scam" of the past 100 years in the form of Kyoto-type mandatory emissions caps at the expense of their own citizenry and financial well-being, Republican Assemblyman Mike Doherty said in an interview with Cybercast News Service. (The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; the United States is not a signatory to the agreement.)

Doherty was one of several speakers at the two-day "Defending the American Dream Summit" organized by Americans for Prosperity (AFP), a Washington, D.C.-based grassroots group that supports free markets and conservative ideas. The economic liabilities of emissions restrictions figured prominently among the topics discussed at the event.


While the United States, at the federal level, is not part of the Kyoto Protocol, a number of states have enacted their own environmental regulations replete with climate change "cap and trade" policies, Doherty said.

With "cap and trade," the government sets a limit, a cap, on how much carbon a company can emit into the air. The company can then buy or trade "carbon credits" to offset its pollution.

The New Jersey Global Warming Act, which became law last year, is the most restrictive and economically harmful such measure in the entire country, said Doherty, who explained why the law is a Kyoto-type policy at the state level.

The New Jersey law calls for greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced to where they were in 1990 "no later" than 2020. It further stipulates that emissions not exceed 80 percent of their 2006 levels "no later" than 2050.

Under this scenario, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) will be "unleashed" with a "blank check" to audit and harasses businesses into submission, said Doherty. He foresees the implementation of a "huge, new bureaucracy" to manage the new "cap and trade" regime whereby businesses will be compelled to purchase credits when they exceed emissions limits.

"This means we can expect more corruption, waste and higher taxes," Doherty said. "Businesses will begin to move into other states where they see greater opportunity and less government intrusion."

Unfortunately, too many policy makers at the state and national level are relying on faulty information that overlooks the most recent scientific data, he said, noting that more than 31,000 scientists have signed off on a petition -- made available through the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM) -- that disputes the theory of man-made global warming.

"There are no experimental data to support the hypothesis that increases in human hydrocarbon use or in atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are causing or can be expected to cause unfavorable changes in global temperatures, weather or landscape," the OISM study, Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide, concludes.

Nevertheless, there is a political move afoot to turn off a major portion of the world's energy supply, despite the lack of a scientific consensus on the cause of global warming, OISM co-founder Arthur Robinson told Cybercast News Service.

Warner-Lieberman Global Warming Bill

Under a bill sponsored by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va.), which is being debated in the U.S. Senate this week, New Jersey would lose anywhere from 31,154 to 46,863 jobs in 2020 and 74,132 to 98,681 jobs in 2030, according to a report by Phil Kerpen, the AFP director of policy, which he presented at the Trenton summit.

He also said the state would see its disposable household income reduced by $1,381 to $4,478 per year by 2020 and $5,854 to $10,675 by 2030, if Warner-Lieberman were to become law. The price of gasoline and electricity would also soar under the legislation, the study claims.

The cost of gasoline would go up from 74 percent to 143 percent by 2030, and energy prices would rise by 78 percent to 113 percent during the same period, according to the report.

For his part, Gov. Jon Corzine (D-N.J.) views the global warming bill as an important public policy model that should be emulated by other states.

"In the absence of leadership on the federal level, the burden of reducing greenhouse gases has now fallen upon the states," he said last year. "I'm proud that New Jersey is one of the first among a handful of states that are leading the nation to combat global warming and I hope more states will follow in our model."

But economically beleaguered New Jersey will continue to "spiral downward" in the wake of new punitive restrictions on industry, Wall Street Journal columnist Stephen Moore told Cybercast News Service.

The state ranked near the bottom in a new study that Moore produced in cooperation with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which ranked all 50 states in terms of competitiveness and fiscal outlook.

Editorial Cartoon Courtesy of Joel Barbee, NFP Cartoonist

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