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different reasons. And finally, is this policy prescription appropriate for our neighbors to the North and South?
Well, if I may, I think the question suggests the terribly, I think, overridingly important point I made in response to your first question. We must act on global climate considerations, globally. Even if we were not in doubt about the the appropriate policy steps for the United States to take and could enforce them on Canada and Mexico, and even if we were right, and that is a lot of ifs, the action of North America to restrain its own emissions would be overwhelmed in the immediate and long-term future by the actions of Europe and the developing countries in creating many more emissions than we would reduce by our own restraint.
Mr. HEMPHILL. Quickly to answer your question, it is my understanding that the greenhouse effect is real, that it is enough of a problem that just from a risk standpoint it should not, and cannot, be ignored, especially where there are, what we believe to be, costeffective strategies to address the problem. Some have focused on the cost issue only.
I think one also needs to focus on the benefits, and I am talking about economic benefits as well as environmental benefits. We believe that there is a win/win possibility here, because we believe that there are many market opportunities both here in the United States and abroad. We believe there are cost-effective solutions to this problem.
With respect to the U.S. role, I think the United States has a leadership role; that if we don't show that we are serious, we can't expect our friends and neighbors to act, and I think that that leadership role is a very real and leadership is an effective means of assuring that other countries also participate.
Mr. MINTZER. As I think you have heard, there is a general consensus that the greenhouse effect is real, it is a natural phenomenon that is essential to the continued inhabitance of our planet. In the last century the greenhouse effect became the greenhouse problem because human emissions began to dwarf the ability of the planet to cleanse itself from the problems we produced. It is likely at continued rates of emissions, even if we stabilized emissions at the 1990 levels, the concentration of these gases also continue to rise and the risks of rapid climate change will thus continue to grow.
But there is a single, simple important step that we can take that is not unilateral, that puts us more into line with the actions of oth CD countries and that will have the largest effect both
ing our economy and increasing our contribution to
the United States, we now sell gasoline at prices
four, five, six, seven times the price we pay here uld argue to you that if we raise the price of gasoreflects the full cost, the security, economic costs, we the American economy and destroy the moral fiber of
would suggest, if you look at the history of the
rry economic condition of the countries which cially low for energy, the United States and g the key examples, and compare it to the