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Global Warming Policies Cool Minority Economic Engines

(Released Mar 2008)

For someone once considered “our first black president,” Bill Clinton seems to have particular disregard for the economic well-being of minorities when it comes to energy.

At a recent rally, the former Man from Hope said: “We just have to slow down our economy and cut back our greenhouse gas emissions ’cause we have to save the planet for our grandchildren.”

Slowing down the economy won’t hurt Clinton and Al Gore – his former vice president and self-appointed global warming czar – as it will hurt lower-income families, especially minorities. With all the panic over indications the economy may already be slowing, why purposely make things worse?

But Bill Clinton is not alone. The leading presidential candidates for both parties right now want more global warming regulation. While claiming to be for the little guy, they ignore the dire consequences of increased unemployment and higher consumer prices for those already struggling.

In the Senate, the “America’s Climate Security Act” (S. 2191), introduced by Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and John Warner (R-VA), penalizes companies that emit greenhouse gases. Called a “cap-and-trade” program, it’s basically a tax on fossil fuels.

According to Charles River Associates International (CRAI), S. 2191 would cost up to $6 trillion over 40 years. Minority staffers with the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee report Senator Lieberman himself admits it would be “hard to imagine” his bill wouldn’t cost industry and power companies “hundreds of billions of dollars to comply” with it.

That’s not all. CRAI also estimates up to 3.4 millions jobs may disappear by 2020 if global warming regulations are enacted.

Rising fossil fuel costs are already driving jobs overseas. Dow Chemical Company recently announced plans to build plants in Saudi Arabia and China that could someday rival petrochemical facilities on our Gulf Coast. It’s part of Dow’s “asset-light” strategy of expanding its manufacturing capacity by partnering with overseas production partners with greater access to cheaper energy and fast-growing markets.

Then there’s the fact that high energy prices disproportionately harm low- and fixed-income consumers. A report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office on cap-and-trade states “… most of the cost of meeting a cap on CO2 emissions would be borne by consumers, who would face persistently higher prices for products such as electricity and gasoline.” The report adds “… poorer households would bear a larger burden relative to their income than wealthier households would.”

A Duke Energy analysis of S. 2191 predicts “power bills could increase by up to 53 percent when the legislation [becomes] effective in 2012.” That’s an average. In a coal-dependent state such as Indiana, customers could see up to a 94.9 percent increase in utility bills.

CRAI estimates the average American household living under S. 2191 will pay between $800 and $1,300 more per year to heat, cool and otherwise power their homes. Bill Clinton can cover that much, but what about those living in poverty? Those living below the poverty line are 24.3 percent black and 20.6 percent Hispanic – a figure higher than their percentages of the overall population.

Don’t forget that higher fuel prices will affect other things, such as the cost of transporting food and other staples to market. The price will be borne by consumers.

Affordable, plentiful and reliable energy is the foundation of our economy. Rising energy costs will lower a standard of living that shouldn’t be surrendered to unsubstantiated theories about climate change.

If Bill Clinton’s rhetoric about wanting to “slow down our economy” is realized, it will be painful to the most vulnerable. This time, however, Bill won’t be feeling their pain.

Deneen Borelli

Deneen Borelli is the author of Blacklash: How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation. Deneen is a contributor with Newsmax Broadcasting. She is a former Fox News contributor and has appeared regularly on “Hannity,” “Fox & Friends,” “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” and “America’s Newsroom.” She has also appeared on Fox Business Network programs “Making Money with Charles Payne,” “The Evening Edit with Liz MacDonald,” and “Cavuto: Coast to Coast.” Previously, Deneen appeared on MSNBC, CNN, the BBC and C-SPAN. In addition to television, Deneen co-hosted radio programs on the SiriusXM Patriot channel with her husband Tom. Recently, Deneen co-hosted the Reigniting Liberty podcast with Tom. Deneen is a frequent speaker at political events, including the FreedomWorks 9.12.2009 March on D.C. which drew a crowd estimated at over 800,000 people. Deneen is also an Ambassador with, a social media platform that promotes free speech, and with the America First Policy Institute (AFPI) which advances policies that put Americans first. Deneen testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources in May 2011 and before the Ohio House Public Utilities Committee in December 2011. Previously, Deneen was a host, Outreach Director with overseeing its outreach program, a Project 21 Senior Fellow, and Manager of Media Relations with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Prior to joining CORE, Deneen worked at Philip Morris USA for 20 years. During her corporate career at Philip Morris she worked in various positions, her last as Project Management Coordinator in the Information Management department where she was responsible for the department’s mandated quality processes, communications, sales information and database management. Deneen began her Philip Morris career as a secretary and advanced to positions of increasing responsibilities. Deneen worked full-time and attended classes at night for 11 years to earn her B.A. in Managerial Marketing from Pace University, New York City. Deneen served on the Board of Trustees with The Opportunity Charter School in Harlem, New York. She appeared in educational videos for children, worked as a runway fashion model, and auditioned for television commercials. Her interests include ancient history, pistol target shooting, photography, and volunteering at her church. Deneen currently resides in Connecticut with her husband Tom.

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