Bush Urged to 'Stand Firm' on Energy Policy

By Mark Mead | July 7, 2008 | 8:27pm EDT

(CNSNews.com) - More than 30 conservative leaders stood by President George Bush's energy plan Thursday, sending him a letter supporting his opposition to the international Kyoto Protocol Treaty.

Calling the treaty "flawed," Karen Kerrigan, chairwoman of The Small Business Survival Committee, praised the president for rejecting "this unfair and drastic component of the Kyoto Protocol."

A component of the treaty called for the regulation of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States. Kerrigan called the mandate "bad science," and said it would have "wrecked the U.S. economy."

Citing leading scientists on climate, the letter said, "capping CO2 will do nothing to mitigate against climate change."

Ryan Horn, federal affairs manager of Americans for Tax Reform, says capping CO2 emissions would have "an astronomical impact." He cited the projection the Clinton administration made in regard to the financial impact the treaty would have, which also was outlined in the letter to Bush.

"The effects of the protocol were estimated at around $400 billion," he said. "What we're saying is that we need to bring some realism and real science to these efforts, and take costs into account as well as potential benefits."

Another organization that has thrown its support behind the Bush plan is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Sandy Liddy Borne, director of energy, environment, and natural resources at ALEC, says the growing pressures from Europe to adhere to the protocol are threatening.

"There are strong concerns that the European community is going to continue to push us into the Kyoto Protocol this summer," she said. "We don't want our hands tied behind our back with it."

Borne added, "We want to encourage the president to stand strong in his opposition to CO2 emission caps."

Similarly, last week a coalition of conservative think tanks, calling themselves the 21st Century Energy Project, launched a widespread media campaign pledging to "educate the public" about the "liberal energy agenda."

Their press conference marked the beginning of the first major counter-offensive unleashed against opponents of the administration's proposal.

Borne says the reason advocates of the president's plan have taken so long to form such supportive coalitions is a result of their allowing for ample time to completely review it.

"We wanted to look at the energy policy before we made any comments on it," she said, "and that is the prudent thing to do."

In her appreciation of Bush's plan, Kerrigan offered additional advice to the president.

"The more sensible solution is to expand and diversify the nation's supply of energy," she said, "and allow our innovative and can-do character to lead us towards more energy-efficient technologies that we can share with the rest of the world."

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