05 June 2008 17:01 [Source: ICIS news]
By Joe Kamalick
The bill, S-3036, the
It is so far-reaching and loaded with so many uncertain consequences that it virtually ensures that every member of Congress will find something in it he or she cannot tolerate.
It is so big that no one, not even its proponents, has even a faint idea what its exact impact will be on the
William Kovacs, US Chamber of Commerce vice president for environment and technology, said the bill is so large and would create such a monstrous bureaucracy that the measure cannot help but collapse under its own weight. (The chamber has created an organizational flow chart based on S-3036, which can be viewed on the organization’s Web site.)
But that is not to say that the chamber and a broad spectrum of US manufacturers, transportation, refining and electric utility sectors take any comfort in the certain knowledge that the bill will never pass in this Congress.
They remain concerned because the very approach being taken by congressional backers of this climate change bill suggests to industry that policymakers on Capitol Hill don’t have a clue about how the
“We have been going up to Capitol Hill for years,” Kovacs told a press conference in
If this legislation were to become law, said Kovacs, “
Simply put, if approved, S-3036 would impose a mandatory limit or cap on emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHG) by chemical producers and other manufacturers, electric utilities, the transportation sector and natural gas production and consumption.
Those emission caps would be gradually reduced annually until, in theory, by 2050
In addition to emissions caps, the bill would raise as much as $7,000bn (€4,480bn) in federal tax revenue from emissions permits that would be sold to US manufacturers, refiners and utilities to cover emissions that exceed allowed limits.
The stated objective is to reduce US emissions of greenhouse gases - and to get
“The problem is,” said Kovacs, “that on the Hill their focus is just to cap and reduce US emissions of greenhouse gases. Well, it’s relatively easy to do that - just stop using energy.”
“But if you are going to cap and cut emissions and thereby cap energy, you need to replace that energy with alternative energy sources that are emission-free, and this bill is not dealing with that,” he said.
If it became law, S-3036 would essentially mean the
In order to make up that energy loss - especially if the nation wants to enjoy continued population and economic growth - the chamber says that the
Those energy capacities and technologies may well be available in 30-40 years, Kovacs said, but in the meantime an arbitrary and mandatory shutdown of existing fossil fuel energy sources would simply collapse the nation’s economy.
For their part, US chemical producers and other manufacturers warned that the Senate climate control legislation would sharply raise energy costs, force more
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) were among many
The Natural Gas Council (NGC) charged that if approved the legislation would put the
ACC senior vice president Thomas Gibson warned that under the Senate bill “significant supplies of natural gas will be diverted into the utility sector at a significant cost and disadvantage to American manufacturing”.
US chemical producers are heavily dependent on natural gas as a feedstock, and manufacturing in general uses gas as a power source.
Gibson noted that the bill makes no provision for increasing domestic
“If adopted, the legislation by 2030 could lead to net national employment losses of up to 4m jobs, electricity price increases of up to 129%, gasoline price increase of up to 145% and a loss of household income of up to $6,752 per year,” Timmons said.
An earlier study said that the climate control bill would reduce
The Senate is expected to debate S-3036 through this week. A similar bill is pending in the US House of Representatives, but neither measure is expected to pass this year. Another effort to pass climate control legislation is expected after a new administration is sworn in next year.
($1 = €.64)
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