Argument: Kyoto Protocol employs inefficient government controls

Issue Report: Kyoto Protocol


Alan Keyes, former Assistant US Secretary of State, stated in a Sep. 16, 2000 article titled “Canning Kyoto.” – “It is difficult to know where to begin in listing the evils and dangers of the Kyoto Protocol; the urgency is profound to prevent the Senate from ratifying it and to prevent the executive regulatory octopus from attempting to enforce satisfying the American targets in the Protocol…

[M]assive, inevitably clumsy and arbitrary government intervention to reduce the energy metabolism of the American economy would dramatically reduce — or even reverse — our long-term economic growth. Kyoto-induced energy rationing and the resulting surge in energy costs would make this summer’s gasoline price spikes seem like trifles by comparison. By definition, the eliminated energy usage would have been for projects otherwise dictated by the free economic decisions of the wealth creators in the private sector. A serious effort to meet the Kyoto target in America would be the equivalent of a vast and pervasive new tax. But economic growth is the key to ending the material suffering that is still the lot of the poor. A Kyoto-inspired suppression of enterprise would prolong, and perhaps even increase, the suffering of many poor Americans, not to mention billions in underdeveloped countries.”

[…]Worse, federal agencies armed with the power to regulate CO2 could wreak havoc on the U.S. economy. The carbon in fossil fuels is not an impurity that can somehow be scrubbed out, but the very thing that makes them fuels. It is by oxidizing carbon (to form CO2) that the energy in fossil fuels is released. Therefore, once government starts regulating fuels based on their carbon content, or activities based on their CO2 emissions, there is no logical stopping point short of total suppression.[1]

Alan Keyes. “Why regulating CO2 would be a disaster”. The Heartland Institute. May 2001 – “Science offers no clue how to coordinate CO2 controls with regulatory requirements for truly noxious substances like SO2, Nox, and mercury. The resulting program, if it had gone forward, would have been an arbitrary hodge-podge, not an ‘integrated’ strategy.”