Monthly Archives: March 2009

Waxman and Markey Fire Starting Gun

This morning, Congressmen Henry Waxman (D-Ca.) and Ed Markey (D-Ma.) released a 600-page draft and put their committee on the path to passing climate legislation this year.  The details will be worked out in the legislative process, but this is great progress.

If Congress succeeds in passing a cap on carbon emissions, we will address global warming and pump billions of dollars into clean energy and new jobs. If we fail — well, let’s not fail.

Here’s the response from EDF’s president, Fred Krupp:

Chairmen Waxman and Markey are experienced legislators who have focused on exactly the right issues to quickly build consensus and allow Congress to pass a strong bill this year.

We applaud the Chairmen for moving forward boldly and deliberately with their proposal for comprehensive legislation, and we look forward to working with them, the congressional leadership, and the Obama administration to help refine and pass a bill this year.

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A Call to Arms on Climate Action


“I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us, ‘Having a revolution every now and then is a good thing,’ and the people – we the people – are going to have to fight back hard if we’re not going to lose our country. And I think this has the potential of changing the dynamic of freedom forever in the United States…

“The science is on our side on this one, and the science indicates that human activity is not the cause of all this global warming. And that in fact, nature is the cause, with solar flares, etc.”

— Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) on AM1280, a local radio station, 3/21/09 (thanks to The New York Times Green Inc. blog for highlighting the quote).


We’ll leave it to the authorities to decide whether Rep. Bachman’s call to arms crosses the line of inciting violence.

As to the substance of her statement, the Congresswoman is way off the mark.

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Heritage: Climate Action = "Monumental Costs"


“The Environmental Protection Agency’s recent endangerment finding that greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, ‘are pollutants that endanger the public’s health and welfare’ would come with monumental costs. The cumulative GDP losses for 2010 to 2029 approach $7 trillion. Single-year losses exceed $600 billion in 2029, more than $5,000 per house¬hold. Job losses are expected to exceed 800,000 in some years, and exceed at least 500,000 from 2015 through 2026. It is important to note that these are net job losses, after any jobs created by compliance with the regulations–so-called green jobs–are taken into account.

“A silver lining? ‘While the EPA has so far been silent about how it might actually regulate CO2 — and the endangerment finding is only an early step in a process that could take a year or longer.’

“The aforementioned costs, paired with what little environmental benefits we receive and questionable science, are the primary reasons this should be a slow process. Even EPA officials and Congressional proponents of global warming legislation are taking their time. The projected costs of regulation aren’t going anywhere, and time will allow more facts and reasoning to come to the table.”

— The Heritage Foundation’s Foundry Blog, March 25, 2009.


The Heritage Foundation is at it again — muddying the science and the economics on climate change. Their efforts to fool the American people into thinking that reducing pollution will cost too much are as detached from reality as their claims that climate change is a hoax.

Here are the facts: Read More »

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The Government Will Own the Atmosphere


“A key element in President Obama’s economic agenda is legislating limits on carbon dioxide emissions to combat the supposed threat of global warming. What have been given far less attention are the costs that will be imposed on the American people from implementing this policy – costs that potentially can be very high.

“In his outlined budget for the government’s next fiscal year, the president has proposed a cap and trade policy that is claimed will reduce carbon emissions by 14 percent from their 2005 levels by 2020, and by 83 percent by 2050.

“Under a cap and trade system, the government would assert ownership of the atmosphere over the United States and set a maximum number of permits that it would sell to private companies for the right to discharge carbon dioxide into the air…”

— Richard M. Ebeling, American Institute for Economic Research, March 25, 2009.


One gets the sense that Mr. Ebeling has seen The Manchurian Candidate too many times on AMC. The government will control your atmosphere, then how much air you can breathe, then, ooh, everything about your lives. Run for the hills.

Saying that under a carbon cap program the government will own the atmosphere is like saying that laws requiring seat belts means the government owns all our cars. It’s nonsense.

Mr. Ebeling also tipped his hand a bit in his first paragraph when he referred to the “supposed threat of global warming” — might want to check that phrasing with the National Acedemies of Science of the U.S., U.K., China, India, Japan, Russia, France, Italy and others who’ve all urged prompt governmental action to deal with the REAL threat of global warming.

It is also flat wrong to claim that the costs of global warming action haven’t been studied. It seems that there has been an economic study published every week — some good, some atrocious — examining the proposal to cap America’s global warming pollution.

Here’s what we know about the costs of global warming action:

It’s time for Congress to act.

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No, Climate Legislation's Not Dead

Last week, we called out Bradford Plumer, Assistant Editor at The New Republic, for saying that he thought there is a “real case” for “waiting until later this year or early next year on cap and trade.”

We had two points:

  1. Once you start saying, “Why rush this?” it starts to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  2. There’s been ample time to debate global warming legislation — after all, we’ve known for a generation that this is a problem we’ll have to solve, and the first cap and trade bill was introduced in the Senate in 2003.

So, we are pleased to read today that Mr Plumer has clarified his point and now says “cap on carbon emissions can still pass this year.”

Not only can a bill pass this year, it is absolutely critical that Congress seize this political opportunity to act. Here are three of many reasons why:

  1. The longer we delay action, the more costly it will be to solve this crisis.
  2. Scientists are warning that the worst case global warming scenarios are coming true.
  3. Without U.S. action, it is unclear how successful international climate negotiations will be this December.

With strong leadership from the White House and key Congressional leaders, combined with constant grassroots pressure, we can pass a bill that will stop global warming and unleash a green energy revolution to put Americans back to work and get the U.S. economy back on track.

Not only can we, but we must.

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Richard Land: Climate Action = Economic Hardship


“Back door attempts in Congress to push through a global warming tax are heating up.

“It is our understanding that the Democrat Senate leadership is planning to move forward with a cap-and-trade bill, which would drastically limit levels of greenhouse gases that electrical, industrial, and transportation sectors can emit, tax them for what they do emit, and slap them with hefty fines if they exceed those emissions levels.

“Such a bill would put the brakes on our already slowed economy, forcing industries and businesses to slash jobs and to pass their taxes onto individuals and families in the form of price increases on commodities and energy. This would make it even more difficult for America to climb out of its current economic troubles. Making this worse, the whole basis for the policy — catastrophic human-induced global warming — is not even settled among scientists, who are growing increasingly skeptical, especially since we have been experiencing a decade-long cooling trend.”

— From email sent by Dr. Richard Land, President of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission Southern Baptist Convention, March 23, 2009.


As we have written before, the proposal to set a market-based cap on America’s global warming pollution is not a tax. No matter how times they say it, it’s still not true.

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