Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Energy Restrictions Would Hurt Low Income Individuals

For those who question whether or not modifying America’s lifestyle to meet the proposed standards that are thought to impact the warming of the earth will have any financial impact on the average person, this action--aimed at Caterpillar--is worthy of reading about. As the global warming advocates are beginning to be taken seriously, more and more is coming out from those with opposing view points. The following piece is from the National Center for Public Policy. These opinions and researched arguments are largely ignored by the major news sources. As the global warming noise and the mandates it is apt to impose drastically affect energy and its role in the American way, we will continue to bring you views you may not hear/see in the mainstream media. What do you think?

Deneen Borelli of the African-American group Project 21 will confront Caterpillar Inc. management at the corporation's shareholder's meeting Wednesday, demanding it explain why it joined the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), which lobbies for energy restrictions on the U.S. economy that would hurt both low income individuals and Caterpillar customers.

The Congressional Budget Office found that the restrictions USCAP seeks would hurt the poorest fifth of the population more than other income groups. As a percentage of wages, the poorest quintile would pay nearly double the costs borne by the richest quintile.

The "cap-and-trade" system for which Caterpillar is lobbying also would target major Caterpillar customers. (Please read a pervious blog posting on cap-and-trade.)

"Caterpillar's participation in the United States Climate Action Partnership is an example of both corporate financial and social irresponsibility," said Project 21 Fellow Deneen Borelli. "Financially, cap-and-trade regulations will harm the mining industry -- a key customer of Caterpillar's products -- thereby hurting future profits and shareholders' interests. In addition, cap-and-trade will have a negative economic impact on consumers, especially lower-income households. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 'most of the cost of meeting a cap on CO2 emissions would be borne by consumers,' disproportionably harming fixed- and lower-income households. What kind of CEO would intentionally cause financial hardship to his company and millions of consumers?

"Caterpillar's stance has already cost it money: Robert E. Murray of Murray Energy Corporation has stopped doing business with Caterpillar: "Caterpillar has joined with some of the most radical environmentalists who have been enemies of mining, including coal, for decades... As a result of this, I sent [Caterpillar CEO Jim Owens] a letter a couple of months ago telling him that Murray Energy Corporation will no longer do business with Caterpillar. This will result in the loss of millions of dollars in business to Caterpillar."

Farmer Joyce Morrison says, "Where Caterpillar used to think first about American agriculture, they have now joined with groups that have been consistently opposed to the growing of America's food, and opposed to the use of Caterpillar machinery. It is difficult to understand why Caterpillar would work with groups who are unfriendly to agriculture when agriculture has been a source of Caterpillar's success." (Read what others have said on this issue.)

70+ public policy organizations and affected companies sent a letter Tuesday to Caterpillar CEO Jim Owens urging him to immediately withdraw Caterpillar from USCAP. The letter is available at

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, non-profit educational foundation based in Washington, D.C.

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