(CNSNews.com) - As members of the U.S. Senate wage a battle against President Bush's rejection of the Kyoto global warming treaty, the president has more ammunition on his side. A conservative taxpayer-activist group has released a study it says, "uncovers details the [treaty's] defenders would rather keep quiet."
The National Taxpayers Union contends the controversial global-warming pact, approved in Bonn, Germany late last month without American support, was crafted to level out the global economic playing field by stunting U.S. growth with added environmental restrictions while promoting polluters in less-industrialized nations.
The Kyoto treaty would force the United States and other industrialized countries to drastically reduce their carbon dioxide or "greenhouse gas" emissions, which many scientists believe contribute to global warming. But in rejecting the deal, President Bush said those mandatory reductions would cost too much and hurt the U.S. economy.
Bush favors voluntary reductions, an idea denounced recently by Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), who promised to introduce legislation imposing nationwide limits on the production of greenhouse gases.
"The current situation demands leadership from the United States," McCain argued. Voluntary approaches, he said, "will not be enough to meet the goal of preventing dangerous effects on the climate system."
Lieberman added that a "big fight" was likely in the Senate over the issue.
However, NTU associate policy analyst Noelle Fiacco, in a statement, said, "Kyoto isn't about the environment. It is about helping poor countries grow by holding back wealthier countries."
The U.S. leads the world in emitting carbon dioxide, but according to NTU, that's only because the United States has such a large gross domestic product. When emissions are compared to the GDP of a country, China, India and other fledgling nations release as much as five times more CO2 than the United States, NTU insists.
With no measures aimed at third-world polluters, the Kyoto plan would have shackled the U.S. economy with steep regulations, possibly costing the country 2.4 million jobs and a loss of $4,000 annually per family, according to the NTU study.
"The treaty helps to lift and give a free ride to polluting nations to expand their economies," NTU spokesman Pete Sepp said.
Among the study's findings:
-- By 2025, China - if unregulated by the Kyoto Treaty - would produce more carbon-dioxide gases than the U.S., Japan and Canada combined.
-- In the next 50 years, 76 percent of all greenhouse gases will come from developing nations left out of the Kyoto Treaty.
-- Citing a U.S. Department of Energy report, the NTU says Kyoto guidelines would drive up gas prices by as much as 66 percent in the U.S.
"While supporters of the Kyoto Protocol would have us believe that their purpose is to save our planet from environmental disaster," Fiacco said, "anyone who takes the time to read the treaty will see that their true agenda appears to be more closely related to boosting developing countries than saving the earth's ecology."