NPRA Says New Senate Climate Bill Should Be Rejected

May 12, 2010, 13:28 ET from National Petrochemical & Refiners Association

WASHINGTON, May 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A climate change bill proposed today by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) should be rejected because it would hurt American families and workers, weaken the nation's economic recovery and harm U.S. national security, according to NPRA, the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association.

"The draconian carbon reduction targets and timetables in this bill would trigger destructive change in America's economic climate," said NPRA Executive Vice President and General Counsel Gregory M. Scott. "This would add billions of dollars in energy costs for American families and businesses, destroy the jobs of millions of American workers, and make our nation more dependent on foreign energy sources."

Scott said that while NPRA needs more time to review details of the legislation, it's clear that the new Senate bill mandates severe and rapid reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. However, these mandates won't have any impact on climate change because they apply only to vehicles, power plants, refineries and other manufacturing facilities in the United States – ignoring soaring carbon dioxide emissions from countries around the world, Scott pointed out.

"America is a nation, not a planet, so it's a fantasy to pretend that restricting our carbon dioxide emissions will improve the environment if China, India and other large and rapidly industrializing nations don't adopt the same restrictions," Scott said. "Carbon dioxide doesn't stop at national borders.

"If senators want to increase the loss of manufacturing jobs in the United States and postpone the resurgence of the American economy, then they should vote for this bill," Scott added. "The legislation would make it much more expensive to make things in our country and give foreign companies a major competitive advantage. Exporting more jobs and importing more finished products is not a long-term plan for a healthy American economy."

While the United States imports most of its crude oil, U.S. refineries produce the vast majority of finished products – including gasoline, diesel fuel, home heating oil, jet fuel and petrochemicals – used by Americans, Scott said. "The Senate bill would inevitably result in more gasoline, diesel fuel and petrochemicals being imported into the United States instead of being made here," he said.

Scott noted that major restrictions in U.S. carbon emissions from transportation sources will take effect in coming years under measures already enacted into law. When fully implemented, these restrictions will reduce carbon emissions from vehicles by almost 27 percent.

Federal fuel mileage standards approved for new cars and light-duty trucks require them to be able to go an average of 36 miles on a gallon of fuel by 2016. That alone will save billions of gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel each year, sharply reducing carbon emissions. Additionally, a law enacted in 2007 will require American refiners to mix 36 billion gallons of biofuels (such as ethanol) with gasoline and diesel fuel each year by 2022.

"While challenges must still be overcome to achieve these mileage and biofuels mandates, the federal government must be careful to ensure that costly and counterproductive rules are not superimposed on these efforts," Scott said.

SOURCE National Petrochemical & Refiners Association