The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Climate Legislation: Workers Beware!

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted December 17, 2009

The Wall Street Journal today published an editorial that explains the "dirty truth" about climate legislation such as the Waxman-Markey climate bill. In a few brief paragraphs, the editorial confirms what we've been saying on this blog for months--Waxman-Markey and similar bills could eliminate millions of jobs in the United States and them overseas.

In the editorial called, "Cap and Trade in Practice," the Journal describes the closure of a steel plant in Great Britain that led to the lay-off of 1,700 workers. The Journal says that the steel company could reap financial benefits for closing the plant and selling allowances for no longer producing carbon dioxide. In essence, the steel company could be paid for laying off workers.

As the editorial puts it:

"We should add that all of this is precisely what Kyoto envisioned. The idea is to tax Western industry and then send the proceeds to developing countries as an incentive to join the anticarbon crusade. But unless governments close their borders to foreign investment, business will flow to where the carbon tariff is least punishing. China and India understand this, which is why they won't agree at Copenhagen to anything that reduces this advantage."

It's time for Congress to ask itself an important question: Does it make sense to pass a jobs bill around the holidays and then consider a climate bill that could make the nation's unemployment rate climb?