The controversial global climate-change treaty finally hammered out by weary negotiators after marathon sessions in Kyoto, Japan, Thursday clearly displeases most of U.S. industry.
Declares William F. OKeefe, chairman of the Global Climate Coalition, a Washington-based group representing some 230,000 companies and trade associations on climate issues: "This agreement represents unilateral economic disarmament. It is a terrible deal, and the president should not sign it. If he does sign it, we will campaign hard, and we will defeat it."
OKeefe, who is also a vice-president of the American Petroleum Institute adds that "for the first time in history, the United States would allow a foreign body dominated by developing countries to restrict and control the economy of the United States."
By forcing a 30% reduction in U.S. energy consumption in little more than a decade, says OKeefe, the agreement will severely damage the nations economy. But it may not come to that. Even if Clinton signs the treaty and sends it to the Senate for ratification, its likely to die. Senators voted unanimously in October to kill any agreement that fails to require developing countries to share in cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions, which the treaty doesnt.
"The lack of participation by developing nations torpedoes the entire effort," said Jerry Jasinowski, president of the National Association of Manufacturers. "The incredible increases in carbon-based emissions as developing countries continue to grow will dwarf any reduction efforts the U.S. has committed to."
Thomas Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the U.S. economy will undoubtedly suffer. "If the U.S. negotiators are looking for a way to mess up the worlds most productive and prosperous economy, this agreement will do that."