|According to the appended article, the attorneys general (AGs) for
Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maine are attempting to circumvent the US Congress.
They are suing the US federal Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to force it to
impose restrictions and regulations on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions according
to the Kyoto accord.
CO2 is a fundamental necessity for all life on Earth. Life as we know it
cannot exist without it, and throughout the existence of Earth life benefited greatly when
CO2 levels in the atmosphere were high.
Many scientific studies show that high levels of atmospheric CO2
and did not cause periods of global warming, while there are
strong indications that long-term climate changes are related to the variability of solar
radiation received by Earth (the Sun is a variable star).
Yet, the climate alarmists advocating the Kyoto accord labour under the false belief
that CO2 emissions should be controlled to prevent or influence long-term
climate changes. It's hard to understand what it is that bothers them. What would be wrong
with having a longer growing season and warmer weather? Whenever we had those in the past,
such as during the medieval- and Roman warm periods (during both of which the climate
throughout the world was considerably warmer than it is now), civilizations thrived and
made major cultural and technological advances.
Moreover, just during the mid-'70s the climate alarmists warned of the impending doom
of civilization due to an imminent new ice age.
The US, with a 95:0 vote in the Senate, correctly decided that it would do no good to
pretend that controlling CO2 emissions would be either successful or effective
in controlling global temperature trends.
Duane Parde, writing for the Washington Times, asks why the AGs of three states wish to
circumvent the will of the elected representatives for the people of the US so as to ram
the Kyoto accord down the throats of people who already rejected it.
The forwarded article provides only a partial answer to that question. The conclusion by Duane Parde, that "too few Americans would support the measure" if it were promoted
through Congress, needs to be augmented.
The reason why the Kyoto accord is being implemented -- in the face of the evidence that
it is an enormously expensive, useless and futile effort -- is nothing more than that the
climate alarmists cannot let go of their ideology, and that the accord will provide vast
opportunities for taxing the people.
The reason for pushing the accord through the courts into existence where the people
rejected it is that it can easily be done through the courts for as long as the real
political power rests not with elected representatives but with the bureaucracy and
especially with the judiciary, the most influential and controlling sector of the
The carbon tax is just that, a tax. Government, that is, the bureaucracy, stands to
gain the most from carbon taxes placed on energy.
Including all costs for the mining, refining and distribution of fuel and putting it
into the fuel tanks of our vehicles, and excluding all taxes, the cost of motor vehicle
fuel in the period from 1995 to 2000 was no more than about US$0.20 to US$0.35 per litre
anywhere in the world, depending on country, time and the government's fiddling with the
market forces. While fundamental gasoline prices in Canada and the US doubled in the year
2000, the basic prices in Germany and France, countries that have no domestic oil
production and rely entirely on imports, saw no increases in the basic prices at all. The
rest of the price we pay is comprised of taxes. Similarly, the majority of the price we
pay for energy in any other form is comprised of taxes. When fuel and energy prices
double, the governments' energy revenues double without any government having to
lift a finger to raise its revenues by vast amounts.
That appears to be the incentive for the bureaucracy to impose on people what people
don't wish for: Higher energy prices on account of higher taxes that ostensibly are
intended to save the globe but only fuel the uncontrolled growth of an apparently
Cc: AFREA Board of Directors
REAs in District #7
Is global warming a hoax?
If greenhouse gases are bad, how come they increase agricultural productivity?
Deregulation in Alberta
Last year  Ottawa raked in over $4.8 billion in gas and excise tax
revenues but only returned a paltry 2.4% or $113 million in the form of transfers for
provincial roadway development [of which about 99 percent was spent east of Ontario]. And
even if all infrastructure funding mechanisms are added in, Ottawa is still returning less
than 20% of its tax take from motorists at the pumps.
4th Annual Gas Tax Honesty Day
Canadian Taxpayer Federation
The vast majority of federal gasoline tax revenues are not channeled back into road and
highway improvements. Of the $4.8 billion collected in federal gasoline taxes last year
(2001), Ottawa returned a paltry 2.4% or $113 million back in provincial transfers for
road and highway development, of which 99 percent was spent east of Ontario.
....As a 1996 Statistics Canada study shows, gas prices, adjusted for inflation, actually
fell by 26 percent between 1957 and 1995. Meanwhile, gas taxes rose 86 percent in the same
Gasoline tax hikes have met little public opposition because they are hidden - out of
sight, out of mind.
Posting the full charge of gas taxes next to the retail pump price would reveal
governments' true take at the pumps.[*]
Source: Filling the Infrastructure Gap:
Prepared for the 4th Annual Gas Tax Honesty Day
May 16, 2002
Canadian Taxpayer Federation
[* That would of course be true to the same extent for showing
all taxes (and not just
the GST) on our utility bills and on the bills for any other form of energy.
However, that is not our practice; and that is the reason why those
invisible taxes are called "hidden taxes".WHS]
Oil Prices and Taxes in the Year 2000
An IEA Statistical Fact Sheet
International Energy Agency
The ICC [US Interstate Commerce Commission] illustrates what might be
called the natural history of government intervention. A real or fancied evil leads to
demands to do something about it. A political coalition forms consisting of sincere,
high-minded reformers and equally sincere interested parties. The incompatible objectives
of the members of the coalition (e.g.: Low prices to consumers and high prices to
producers) are glossed over by fine rhetoric about "the public interest,"
"fair competition," and the like. The coalition succeeds in getting Congress (or
the state legislature) to pass a law. The preamble to the law pays lip service to
the rhetoric and the body of the law grants power to government to "do
something." The high-minded reformers experience a glow of triumph and turn their
attention to new causes. The interested parties go to work to make sure that the power is
used for their benefit. They generally succeed. Success breeds its problems, which are met
by broadening the scope of intervention. Bureaucracy takes its toll so that even the
initial special interests no longer benefit. In the end the effects are precisely
the opposite of the objectives of the reformers and generally do not even achieve the
objectives of the special interests. Yet the activity is so firmly established and so many
vested interests are connected with it that repeal of the initial legislation is nearly
inconceivable. Instead, new government legislation is called for to cope with the problems
by the earlier legislation and a new cycle begins.
Milton and Rose Friedman, "Free to Choose", p. 191 (Avon Books, 1980,
2003 06 19
Skewed road map to Kyoto
By Duane Parde
New England has a proud reputation of being the birthplace of American democracy. One
would not expect to find state officials imposing their far-reaching changes on the entire
nation by doing an end-run around Congress and the legislative process. Yet the attorneys
general of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maine are attempting to do just that.
Earlier this month, they filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency to try
to force the federal government to regulate carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act. The
AGs believe carbon dioxide contributes to global warming. But they are not petitioning
their U.S. senators and congressmen to enact new regulations. Instead, they are taking the
audacious step of bypassing our elected representatives and trying to force changes on the
EPA directly, by suing it.
Why not go through Congress? Because too few Americans would support the measure. The
claim that carbon dioxide contributes to global warming is highly controversial, and is by
no means agreed upon in the scientific community. Plenty of evidence suggests global
temperature changes during the last century have stemmed from natural causes, not man-made
ones. The U.S. government, even after spending $45 billion in global warming research over
the last decade, still concedes the science is inconclusive.
The AGs would be using weak science as a basis to impose extraordinary burdens on
American society. Their aim is to produce defacto compliance with the Kyoto Protocol on
global warming. But the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates compliance would
raise electricity costs by 86 percent, gasoline by 66 cents a gallon, and fuel oil by 76
percent. The ripple effects on the rest of the economy would be enormous. And the poor and
elderly would suffer most. 
Such sacrifices would hardly make a difference in any case. Climatologists predict
implementation of the Kyoto Protocol would offset global warming by an unnoticeable .07
degree Celsius. And China, India and other developing countries would not be required to
make any sacrifices at all, negating any action taken by developed countries. That was one
reason the U.S. Senate in 1997 voted 95-0 to reject the treaty.
Given the questionable merits of trying to control global warming through carbon
dioxide regulation, it is easy to see why the AGs and the interest groups that support
them are in such a minority.
The ability of a special interest group to impose its agenda on the entire nation goes
against everything democracy stands for. The Founding Fathers set up a system of
separation of powers to preserve liberties and protect the citizenry from the will of the
few. The Constitution directs the legislative branch to enact laws, the executive branch
to carry them out, and the judicial branch to interpret the laws and ensure their
constitutionality. It is something everyone learns in junior high school, but all too
often, it is a lesson ignored.
Regulation through litigation -- where unelected officials write the laws -- is sadly
becoming a more frequent occurrence, with frightening implications for the health of
American democracy. Anytime the federal government wants to apply its coercive powers on
the people, elected representatives must approve. The citizens of Arizona, Iowa or
Kentucky should not be subject to the will of a handful of people in Massachusetts,
Connecticut and Maine. Yet that is what this lawsuit tries to achieve.
The EPA is not authorized to regulate carbon dioxide in any case. As these AGs would
have it, every time we exhale we are polluting the environment. The Clean Air Act does not
list carbon dioxide as one of the six criteria pollutants to be monitored for air quality.
Regulating it would open the door to regulating water vapor and oxygen as well, which are
the two largest greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
As stated in a 1988 U.S. Supreme Court case, "It is axiomatic that an
administrative agency's power to promulgate legislative regulations is limited to the
authority delegated by Congress." (Bowen vs. Georgetown University Hospital, 488 U.S.
204, 208 ). And the regulations the AGs have in mind would result in extraordinary
government control over the economy by imposing strict controls on all fossil-fuel-burning
industrial facilities, automobile manufacturers, and other entities. A weighty matter like
this should be decided by Congress.
The Founding Fathers carefully arranged it so national policy is made by elected
representatives that each state sends to the nation's capital. The AGs, meanwhile, are
supposed to focus on what happens in their state capitals. This latest move is a setback
for democracy and the Constitution.
Duane Parde is executive director at the American Legislative Exchange Council, the
nation's largest bipartisan membership organization of state legislators.
© Washington Times