Washington, D.C. -- Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., blasted the White House today for continuing to hide from the American public and Congress economic figures relating to the global warming treaty signed in Kyoto, Japan in December.
Enzi said information he has received from the Administration is clearly incomplete and he criticized a letter from Janet Yellen of the President's Council of Economic Advisers explaining why the information must be kept secret.
"Certain critical parts of the information I received were missing. In fact what I received was a table of contents with formulas, but no explanation," said Enzi. "I was curious to know what part of these documents were so secret. They were delivered by an intern from the White House to my office, not given to me personally, not stamped confidential, no stamp whatsoever to designate how important these documents were to national security. This indicates to me that I have not received the documents I requested, the ones the White House said were so secret."
Enzi reminded the President that it is the job of the legislative branch of government, not the executive branch to set the policies of this nation.
"The White House legal counsel is saying Congress and the people don't deserve the information, we don't need to know. Letting us know would damage the executive ability to make decisions. I remind the President that Congress is the policy body of the United States. It's our job to pass the laws. The laws set the policy. The White House is the management of this government and it says that giving information to Congress would have a chilling effect on its decision making? I disagree with the President. I think the public does have the right to know."
Figures from independent economic studies indicate that implementation of the Kyoto protocol could cost each family in the U.S. as much as $2,100 per year in higher energy prices. Yellen testified before two House committees saying the cost would be $90 per year. Enzi believes the reason for the discrepancy in the numbers and the reason the White House has so far refused to release figures to back up its $90 estimate is because those numbers will tell a woeful tale of American jobs being lost. Enzi said as many as three million jobs by the year 2010 could be lost if the treaty the President signed is implemented, according to a study done by Charles River and Associates. Enzi pointed out that the cost estimates and the models for coming up with those estimates done by private firms are available to the public and he finds it ironic that the same can't be gained from our own government.
"Americans have a right to know what is going on. They have a right to know if it's going to cost them their jobs," said Enzi. "Even if the White House counsel doesn't think so, Americans should have a chance to see who is playing with their livelihoods."
Enzi said what's worse than the Administration keeping secrets, is its behind the back tactics of implementing the treaty without consent of the Senate.
"There is something else I want to bring to the attention of this body. In spite of the fact that the President has firmly stated that this treaty will not be implemented before ratification, right now the Environmental Protection Agency has undertaken an effort to manipulate the Clean Air Act to enforce this treaty," Enzi said. "I think we deserve to know what other branches of government are working behind the scenes through executive order, rules or regulation, to put a treaty into place that this body would not ratify. If it were brought here today it would not be ratified. It violates everything in the resolution the Senate passed 95-0 giving direction to our Kyoto negotiators."