Don't Wreck the Economy in the Name of the Environment, Says Bob Barr
The Senate is now debating the Lieberman-Warner bill to restrict energy use. "This legislation would sacrifice our economic future, and particularly that of poorer Americans, for virtually no environmental gain," warns Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party candidate for president.
Despite the many predictions of doom, "the science of climate change remains highly complex," he says. There has been no warming over the last decade and scientists disagree over how much warming is likely in the future.
To respond to purely speculative problems, Lieberman-Warner would mandate an emission cut of 70 percent by 2050, a virtual impossibility. "It would be hard enough to hold energy use constant with a growing population," he notes. "every additional person needs food, transportation, and housing."
Energy prices would soar. Hundreds of thousands or millions of jobs would be lost. Barr points to a study by the Congressional Budget Office which warns that the Senate bill would hike energy costs $1300 per household, effectively a $1 trillion tax hike over the next decade. "Estimates of the potential GDP loss run into the trillions of dollars," he explains.
The legislation also "would create a monster bureaucracy to run the system," warns Barr. Sen. Lieberman estimates that the new Climate Change Credit Corporation would have as much as $7 trillion in grants to give away, which, says Barr, would set up "an unprecedented special interest gold rush."
Yet climatologists like Dr. Patrick Michaels figure that Lieberman-Warner would cut potential future warming by only .013 degrees (Celsius), "an amount hard to even measure," says Barr. It makes far more sense "to adapt to challenges as they develop than to commit economic suicide to prevent problems that are unlikely to occur."
Barr represented the 7th District of Georgia in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003, where he served as a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, as Vice-Chairman of the Government Reform Committee, and as a member of the Committee on Financial Services. Prior to his congressional career, Barr was appointed by President Reagan to serve as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, and also served as an official with the CIA.
Since leaving Congress, Barr has been practicing law and has teamed up with groups ranging from the American Civil Liberties Union to the American Conservative Union to actively advocate every American citizens' right to privacy and other civil liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. Along with this, Bob is committed to helping elect leaders who will strive for smaller government, lower taxes and abundant individual freedom.