Kyoto Pact Means Costlier Energy

If the US implements the global warming agreement signed in Kyoto, Japan last December, it's going to mean higher energy bills for Americans.

According to testimony presented to a House Commerce subcommittee yesterday, White House economists predict the average homeowner will see a $70 to $100 annual increase in energy bills over the next 15 years.

Home energy prices would rise by an average of 3 percent to 5 percent under last December's international pact to control the Earth's greenhouse gases.

The Kyoto agreement would "raise the average household energy bill in 10 years by between $70 to $110 per year," according to White House economic adviser Janet Yellin's written testimony. "This translates into an increase in energy prices between 2008 and 2012 at the household level of between 3 to 5 percent."

Reducing so-called greenhouse gases to below 1990 levels as called for in the accord would also require 3 to 4 percent higher prices for gasoline and other motor fuels, according to administration estimates. Natural gas rates would rise 3 to 5 percent.

The Kyoto accord calls for the United States to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases to 7 percent below what they were in 1990 during the 2008-2012

Such reductions would require U.S. businesses and consumers to use substantially less energy and redirect the country's energy policy to encourage a shift away from burning coal and oil, which have high carbon content.

Labor unions, energy-intensive industries and many congressional Republicans have denounced the agreement, which is yet to be ratified by the Senate.

Of the world's developed nations, 38 are mandated to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

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