WSJ – Climate Change Collapse – June 06, 2008
Excerpt: Environmentalists are stunned that their global warming agenda is in collapse. Senator Harry Reid has all but conceded he lacks the vote for passage in the Senate and that it’s time to move on. Backers of the Warner-Lieberman cap-and-trade bill always knew they would face a veto from President Bush, but they wanted to flex their political muscle and build momentum for 2009. That strategy backfired. The green groups now look as politically intimidating as the skinny kid on the beach who gets sand kicked in his face. Those groups spent millions advertising and lobbying to push the cap-and-trade bill through the Senate. But it would appear the political consensus on global warming was as exaggerated as the alleged scientific consensus. “With gasoline selling at $4 a gallon, the Democrats picked the worst possible time to bring up cap and trade,” says Dan Clifton, a political analyst for Strategas Research Partners. “This issue is starting to feel like the Hillary health care plan.”
Excerpt: Apparently three days of debate was enough for what many senators called “the most important issue facing the planet.” With little chance of winning passage of a sweeping 500-page global warming bill, the Senate Democratic leadership is planning to yank the legislation after failing to achieve the 60-vote threshold needed to move the bill to the next stage. After a 48-36 vote on the climate change bill, the Senate is likely to move on to a separate energy debate next week. The legislation collapsed for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the poor timing of debating a bill predicted to increase energy costs while much of the country is focused on $4-a-gallon gas. On top of that, a number of industrial state Democrats like Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio were uncomfortable with the strong emissions caps that would have created a new regime of regulations for coal, auto and other manufacturing industries. Republicans, for the most part, held firm against a bill they said would cost billions in regulations while pushing the cost of gas higher. Seven Republicans, mostly moderates, voted for the procedural motion on the legislation while four Democrats voted against it.
The ‘global warming’ mad house is flourishing! I have rarely known a couple of days in which so many ‘global warming’ foibles and follies have been exposed for the nonsense that they are. Here is my Friday round-up for you to savour: First, and by far the most significant, the debate on the climate-change bill, the Climate Tax Bill, in the U.S. Senate has been reduced to a farce, with even many Democrats now wanting to kill it off as quickly and as painlessly as possible. Indeed, we may have to witness the bizarre spectacle of Republicans trying to prolong the debate in order to embarrass Democrats even further. […] Sen. James M. Inhofe (Okla.), Ranking Republican Member of the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, is reported as observing: “‘This bill was doomed from the start. The committee process was short-circuited, the floor debate was circumvented and the amendment process was derailed. I do not see how the Democrats use this failed bill as any kind of model for future success. As I suspected, reality hit the U.S. Senate when the economic facts of this bill were exposed. When faced with the inconvenient truth of the bill’s impact on skyrocketing gas prices, very few Senators were willing to even debate this bill.’” […] Indeed. ‘Global warming’ is thus off track on every front, from the railways of the UK to the floor of the U.S. Senate. When will this ‘global warming’ madhouse be closed down and confined to the dustbin of history? Or trash can?
Excerpt: The world needs to invest $45 trillion in energy in coming decades, build some 1,400 nuclear power plants and vastly expand wind power in order to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, according to an energy study released Friday. The report by the Paris-based International Energy Agency envisions a “energy revolution” that would greatly reduce the world’s dependence on fossil fuels while maintaining steady economic growth.
Excerpt: The Senate this morning brought an early if expected end to the chamber’s global warming debate, falling 12 votes shy of the 60 needed to kill a GOP filibuster. Sixteen senators were absent during the vote, including likely presidential nominees John McCain, who opposes the bill for what he considers a dearth of nuclear power provisions, and Barack Obama, who supports the proposal, which boasts a 66 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050.
Excerpt: Even as Senate Republicans blocked Democrats’ attempt to move forward with global warming legislation today, other approaches to federal climate action have already begun to percolate. James E. Hansen, the NASA climate expert who has long been a bellwether for global warming campaigners, has strongly endorsed one of the less-popular options — a variant on the “cap and dividend” system for cutting greenhouse-gas emissions. (This is very different from the “cap and trade” mechanism in the blocked Lieberman-Warner-Boxer bill, which would invest revenue in a host of ways, with little money returning directly to taxpayers.)
India News- Reality Check: ‘INDIA WON’T CUT CO2 EMISSIONS AT THE COST OF DEVELOPMENT & POVERTY ALLEVATION’ – June 05, 2008
Excerpt: India will not reduce greenhouse gas emission at the cost of development and poverty alleviation, Minister of State for Environment and Forests Namo Narain Meena said Thursday.’India is struggling to bring millions of people out of poverty. We cannot accept binding commitments to cut down greenhouse gas emission,’ Meena said at a function to mark the World Environment Day. Though India has no commitment to reduce the global warming gases under the Kyoto Protocol, in recent climate change conferences many developed countries have said India needs to reduce the greenhouse burden.
Courier Mail – WORKERS UNION, BUSINESS LEADERS WARN CLIMATE POLICY MAY CRIPPLE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRIES – June 05, 2008
Excerpt: AUSTRALIAN industries may be crippled if they are forced to meet ambitious targets for tackling climate change, the Rudd Government has been warned.
The Queensland Government, Australian Workers Union and big business across the nation fear forcing businesses to pay for the pollution they create would cause economic upheaval.The State Government fired a warning to Canberra in Tuesday’s budget, urging it not to set over-ambitious targets for cutting carbon emissions for fear of destabilising the economy.
National Post – As Goes the Economy, So Goes Environmentalism – June 05, 2008
Excerpt: If truth is the first casualty of war, then environmental concern is the first casualty of economic recession. Surveys of Canadian voters showed the environment to be their first or second concern in 1989-90. At that time, though, the economy was booming, pumping out tens of thousands of new jobs a month. A year-and-a-half later, with the economy locked in the worst recession in 60 years, government finances were imploding, jobs disappearing and foreclosure wolves circling, the environment vanished from the top 10. There will always be a small, hard-core voter base motivated by eco-issues. They’re not worried about losing their jobs in an environmentalist-driven recession. They know that if they get laid off from the alternative music store, they can always go clerk at the Gaia Vegan Market or Wiccans ‘R’ Us. But for most people, the environment is a luxury good — easily expendable when their livelihoods and homes are threatened.
London Evening Standard – CAMERON WARNS BROWN HIS OWN PARTY WILL DITCH HIM IF HE DOES NOT SCRAP GREEN TAX RISES – June 04, 2008
Excerpt: Car tax hikes for millions of drivers became the latest ticking timebomb under Gordon Brown’s leadership last night. Despite mounting Labour unrest, the Prime Minister launched a stubborn defence of the plans and said they were an effective means of cutting carbon emissions. Tory leader David Cameron warned Mr Brown he was likely to lose his job if he refused to scrap what he called ‘deeply unpopular and unenvironmental’ changes to vehicle excise duty. Pointing to the growing rebellion among Labour MPs over the plans, Mr Cameron bluntly told Mr Brown during angry exchanges at Prime Ministers’ Questions: ‘If you don’t get rid of it, they will probably get rid of you.’
Washington Post – Vote on Climate Bill is Blocked in Senate – June 06, 2008
Excerpt: Republicans have blocked efforts to bring a global warming bill up for a final Senate vote after a bitter debate over its economic costs and whether it would push gasoline prices higher. Democratic leaders Friday fell 12 votes short of getting the 60 votes needed to end a Republican filibuster on the measure. The vote was 48-36. Majority Leader Harry Reid now must decide whether to pull the bill and push the climate change issue to next year with a new Congress and a new president. The bill would cap carbon dioxide coming from power plants and factories with a target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 71 percent by mid-century. Opponents say it amounts to a huge tax increase and would lead to higher energy prices.
Washington Post – U.S. Senate Democrats May Pull Climate Bill – June 06, 2008
Excerpt: If this week’s Senate debate on a proposed cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gases was supposed to be a dress rehearsal for climate legislation, things are not looking too good for opening night. Although parliamentary maneuvers could still extend the debate into next week, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) faced the prospect of failure in a bid to end debate on amendments to the climate bill this morning. In that event, he was expected to seek withdrawal of the entire measure, to the relief of some Democrats from coal-producing or heavy industrial states. Some Democrats were worried yesterday that the GOP might try to block withdrawal of the legislation to prolong a debate that many Democrats think no longer works to their political benefit.
Excerpt: Republicans have blocked efforts to bring a global warming bill up for a final Senate vote after a bitter debate over its economic costs and whether it would push gasoline prices higher. Democratic leaders Friday fell 12 votes short of getting the 60 votes needed to end a Republican filibuster on the measure. The vote was 48-36. Majority Leader Harry Reid now must decide whether to pull the bill and push the climate change issue to next year with a new Congress and a new president. The bill would cap carbon dioxide coming from power plants and factories with a target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 71% by mid-century. Opponents say it amounts to a huge tax increase and would lead to higher energy prices. “It’s a huge tax increase,” argued Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, a prominent coal-producing state. He maintained that the proposed system of allowing widespread trading of carbon emissions allowances would produce “the largest restructuring of the American economy since the New Deal.”
Excerpt: This would be done through a cap-and-trade system under which businesses and industries meeting federal emissions caps could trade or sell excess capacity to those exceeding them.
That means new bureaucracies, new programs — more than 40 by some estimates — and the complications that routinely go with most new government initiatives. That concerns Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa. “The climate solution should not require an overhaul of our economy and those decisions should not be made by nameless bureaucrats,” Inhofe says. As it is, the conservative Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis warns of cumulative losses to the national economy of more than $4.5 trillion by 2030 — even as leading global polluter China lets its economy run unencumbered.
Associated Press – Economy First: EU Governments Split on Emissions Target – June 05, 2008
Excerpt: EU governments were split Thursday over the best way for the 27-nation bloc to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Germany said a plan to slash car emissions by 2012 was unfair to its automobile industry, which makes vehicles that tend to be faster, bigger, heavier and more polluting than those of other EU nations. Sigmar Gabriel, the German environment minister, said it was harder for Germany than Italy which made light, small cars that already just about meet the 2012 emission limit. “We have to be honest and open with each other here,” Gabriel said. “We have very different interests.”
Peanuts! Tough Climate Goals Only Cost $45 Trillion by 2050 – June 05, 2008
Excerpt: A goal to halve planet-warming carbon emissions by 2050, similar to an aim Japan is urging G8 leaders to agree next month, would add $45 trillion to global energy bills, the International Energy Agency said on Tuesday. “It’s a lot of money,” IEA analyst Peter Taylor told a meeting on the fringes of a climate conference in Germany, previewing the agency’s Energy Technology Perspectives report to be published in Japan on Friday. “It implies a completely different energy system,” he said. For example, electricity from renewable sources such as hydropower and the wind would reach close to half all power production, compared to 18 percent now, Taylor told Reuters.
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