The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Kerry-Boxer Hearings: Day 1

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted October 27, 2009

In the first of a series of Senate hearings about the Kerry-Boxer climate bill today, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mt.) said he has "serious reservations" about the bill's "overall direction."

Speaking at today's Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing, Baucus encouraged Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) to compromise with Republican members of the committee, who have expressed strong opposition to the bill. As Politico reported today, Republicans "see the legislation...as a nonstarter."

"This bill necessarily will raise the price of gasoline, electricity, food and just about everything else," Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) said.

Based on the provisions in the Kerry-Boxer bill, it's expected that it would be even more costly than the House's Waxman-Markey bill:

  • It proposes a more stringent cap on greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs--20 percent by 2020) than the costly Waxman-Markey bill (17 percent by 2020);
  • It sets aside more than 20 percent of the allowances in a reserve fund to be used for deficit reduction and other purposes, effectively reducing the emission allowances to all regulated entities; and
  • It allows only half as many international offsets as Waxman-Markey (the Congressional Research Service recently found that international offsets are crucial to keeping costs down under the Waxman-Markey bill).

The impact to U.S. families and the economy could be enormous:

  • It could push pump prices above $5 a gallon, based on an analysis of the House bill by the Energy Information Administration (EIA);
  • Multiple analyses project that it could destroy millions of jobs, even accounting for the addition of new green jobs; and
  • It could make U.S. refiners less competitive than their foreign counterparts, nearly doubling the imports of refined products and likely sending jobs overseas.

The bill is simply too costly. Read API's President and CEO's most recent statement about the Kerry-Boxer climate bill.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.