Sen. Inhofe Discusses Climategate, “The Greatest Scandal in Modern Science”

December 8th, 2009 Todd Thurman

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), ranking Member on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), spoke to bloggers at The Heritage Foundation’s weekly Bloggers Briefing today and focused his remarks on the controversial “Climategate” scandal — the series of leaked e-mails that have blown holes through the theory of man-made global warming.

As Sen. Inhofe sat down to speak, he opined that he was just in the Senate trying to convince Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) to investigate the subject of the e-mails, instead of the people who uncovered the e-mails. Sen. Inhofe was the leader of the global warming opposition ten years ago when he chaired the EPW Committee; when a blogger asked him what he thought about the emergent news that the science was flawed, the Senator quipped, “Redemption.”

Senator Inhofe is not alone in his views on “Climategate.” The UK Telegraph called it the “greatest scandal in modern science,” and the UK MET is reevaluating over 160 years of climate data because “public opinion of man-made global warming has been shattered by leaked e-mails.” Sen. Inhofe seemed confident that neither climate bills would pass the Senate, but feared the Obama Administration would circumvent the legislative process and use the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to force regulation through the Clean Air Act. Sen. Inhofe fired back by releasing a YouTube video saying that the EPA finding that CO2 is a pollutant was based on faulty science.

Now, the United Nations is in the middle of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, where “the science is settled.” However, as we have stated, the science is far from settled. Now, the world has learned that the basis of the science that climate change was founded on could be proven faulty. This has not stopped the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change from creating a treaty that will be costly to the US economy and not have any real impact on the environment. And it’s a treaty that would infringe on our national sovereignty.

You can listen to Sen. Inhofe’s remarks here.

You can watch the video of his remarks here.

Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Did you enjoy this article? If so, please subscribe to my blog!

Choices for the Future

November 11th, 2009 Scott Bittle

You know youre in for a bout of grim reading when the international agency charged with worrying about how we power the planet starts off its fact sheet with a question like this: Why is our current energy pathway unsustainable?

Thats the message from the International Energy Agency, which issued its World Energy Outlook report, the organizations annual examination of the big picture. That picture itself hasnt changed all that much. The fundamental challenge is still to meet surging worldwide demand for energy while at the same time coming up with ways to avoid global warming and keep energy relatively affordable.

Basically, the IEA says everything depends on whether or not world leaders get serious about climate change, very soon.

If we do nothing, then worldwide energy demand is projected to soar by 40 percent by 2030. The vast majority of that increase is going to come in the developing world, as people in China, India and throughout Asia see their standard of living rise. Even keeping up with that demand would require investing another $26 trillion. And unless things change, most of that energy is going to come from fossil fuels, which means dire consequences for climate change and air pollution, the IEA said.

On the other hand, if world leaders committed to fighting climate change with cap-and-trade policies, increased energy efficiency, and greater use of renewable energy, that would cost another $10.5 trillion (on top of the $26 trillion). But energy demand growth could be cut in half, and greenhouse gases would decline.

Not that the prospects for this look particularly good right now. Most observers say hopes for a real deal out of next months Copenhagen climate conference are fading, one major reason being that the United States still hasnt figured out what it wants to do. Theres a chance the Obama administration will put something in place on its own even if Congress doesnt act, but in any case, its unlikely a deal with be struck without American leadership.

Chances are youve never heard of the IEA. While the agency has enormous influence among policymakers, and while there are bitter disputes over its estimates, it barely registers with the public. But despite the IEAs wonky tone and elite audience, the report has one great strength when it comes to getting the public involved: it focuses on choices and alternatives.

The world has decisions to make about energy. Everything weve learned about how people get engaged in making policy decisions shows that choices are essential. Nothings perfect, and there are always tradeoffs to everything. Setting those options out fairly to the public is critical to building public support for change.

The IEA actually lays out the cost of those alternatives for policymakers. We can only hope that policymakers will turn around and do the same for the public.

More from Public Agenda

Rating: 2.3/5 (3 votes cast)

Did you enjoy this article? If so, please subscribe to my blog!

EPA Lawyers Speak Out Against Cap and Trade

November 4th, 2009 Nick Loris

Laurie Williams and Allan Zabel, two lawyers currently working at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), spoke out against cap and trade in their Washington Post column. Zabel has first hand experience with cap and trade, overseeing California’s cap and trade and offsets programs. The article is full of good reasons why a cap and trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is a bad idea. They also highlight how it differs substantially from the acid rain cap and trade plan, which proponents  tout as a reason to cap and trade CO2:

Cap-and-trade means a declining “cap” on total emissions, while allowing trading of pollution permits. Confidence in the certainty of declining caps is based on the mistaken assumption that cap-and trade was proven in the EPA’s acid rain program. In fact, addressing acid rain required relatively minor modifications to coal-fired power plants. Reductions were accomplished primarily by a fuel switch to readily available, affordable, low-sulfur coal, along with some additional scrubbing. In contrast, the issues presented by climate change cannot be solved by tweaks to facilities; it requires an energy revolution through investments in building clean-energy facilities.”

The authors explain, however, that these minor modifications and cheap alternatives aren’t available when it comes to America’s energy use:

The biggest obstacle to this revolution is that uncontrolled fossil fuel energy remains much cheaper than clean energy. Cap-and-trade alone will not create confidence that clean energy will become profitable within a known time frame and so will not ignite the huge shift in investment needed to begin the clean-energy revolution. In recent interviews, even the economists who thought up cap-and-trade have said they don’t believe it’s an appropriate tool for climate change.”

The brunt of the authors’ objection to a cap and trade system has to with the offset provision. If a coal plant believes it’s cheaper not to reduce its carbon footprint, it can pay someone else to do so. For instance, a company could pay a logger not to cut down trees, or they could pay someone to grow trees since trees absorb carbon. Or a developing country can build a cleaner coal plant saying they were going to build a dirtier one while cashing a check from a developed country for the alleged carbon offset. Williams and Zabel make the same case with the forest owner:

[I]f the landowner wasn’t planning to cut his forest, he just received a bonus for doing what he would have done anyway. Even if he was planning to cut his forest and doesn’t, demand for wood isn’t reduced. A different forest will be cut. Either way, there is no net reduction in production of greenhouse gases. The result of this carbon “offset” is not a decrease but an increase — coal burning above the cap at the power plant.”

And the offset program creates perverse incentives and unintended consequences:

[C]onsider the refrigerant HCFC-22, the manufacture of which creates an extremely powerful greenhouse gas as a byproduct. This byproduct is relatively easy and cheap to destroy, and governments could require refrigerant manufacturers to do just that. But offset investors have persuaded regulators to approve destruction of the byproduct as a carbon offset, making it twice as profitable to sell byproduct destruction as it was to sell the refrigerant.”

Designed to be a cost containment measure, experience with offsets have led to nothing but fraud with no reduction in carbon dioxide. The architects of cap and trade legislation claim that farmers and landowners with forestland to be the big winners from the offset program. But the economic pain they suffer, along with everyone else, will be much greater than any offset check they collect.

Read more from The Heritage Foundations blog, The Foundry here.

Rating: 2.8/5 (6 votes cast)

Did you enjoy this article? If so, please subscribe to my blog!

Lindsey Grahams Sordid Self

November 2nd, 2009 Carter Clews

It was the late, great journalist Norman Mailer who once observed, The desire for success lubricates secret prostitutions in the soul.

Which brings us to South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.

Once the hero of the conservative movement for his courageous stand against the libidinal Bill Clinton in the House impeachment proceedings of 1998, Lindsey has since evanesced into a mere shadow of his once-stalwart self. Or, for that matter, of any other wannabe leader with scarcely a thimbleful of testosterone flowing through his anemic system.

Today, Graham is little more than the ever-eager turn-to guy whenever the hard left needs a squishy sycophant to carry its water through the corridors of Congress. As evidenced most recently by his teaming up with liberal totem John Kerry to co-author a New York Times op-ed endorsing the highly controversial, disastrously costly cap-and-trade legislation.

As the green web site breathlessly enthused:

“It’s hard to overstate the significance of this joint declaration. It ensures that the Senate bill will be bipartisan. It demonstrates that there is a pathway to 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. And it establishes comprehensive energy and climate legislation as the next item on the Senate agenda after health care reform, meaning there is a very real shot at Senate passage prior to Copenhagen.”

In short, in one fell stroke, Graham betrayed scores of his Senate colleagues and tens of millions of Americans who know that the cap-and-trade bill will paralyze American industry and cost the average household as much as $3000 a year.

Carter Clews is the Executive Editor of ALG News.

Rating: 2.6/5 (5 votes cast)

Did you enjoy this article? If so, please subscribe to my blog!