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Washington, D.C., January 12, 2004 - The Competitive Enterprise Institute and ten other public policy groups are urging the Department of Energy not to establish a system of emissions credits as part of its greenhouse gases reporting program. The DOE will hold a workshop today on its proposed rule to revise the voluntary greenhouse gases reporting program. While an emissions credit program is not part of the proposed rule, it will be on the agenda for discussion.
A crediting scheme for emissions reductions would create the institutional framework and lobbying incentives for energy rationing. Since credits attain full market value only under a mandatory emissions reduction target or "cap," every credit holder would have a financial incentive to lobby to make "voluntary" reductions mandatory. In addition, neither the legislation that created the voluntary reporting program nor any other provision of law authorizes the Department of Energy or any other agency to establish a crediting program.
"Transforming the voluntary reporting program into an emission reductions credit scheme would be both illegal and unwise," said Competitive Enterprise Institute senior fellow Marlo Lewis, Jr. "It would be illegal because the Energy Policy Act, which authorized the voluntary program, furnishes no authority to award regulatory offsets for future emission reduction mandates, and unwise because a credit program would mobilize lobbying for energy rationing schemes such as the Kyoto Protocol, Senator Jim Jeffords' Clean Power Act, and the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act."
The Competitive Enterprise Institute is joined in its opposition to an emissions reduction credit scheme by the American Conservative Union, Americans for Tax Reform, American Legislative Exchange Council, Citizens Against Government Waste, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Consumer Alert, Frontiers of Freedom, National Taxpayers Union, 60 Plus Association, and the Small Business Survival Committee.
CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government. For more information about CEI, please visit our website at www.cei.org.