SEARCH BLOG: GLOBAL WARMING
Things are getting pretty bad for the news media when they have to make preposterous claims about legislation coming from the Democratic Party controlled Congress such as you will have to pay a fine any may go to jail if you don't get health care insurance. Now they are at it again.
Don't buy those carbon credits just yet
By: David Freddoso
Commentary Staff Writer
11/10/09 8:15 AM EST
Democrats' cap-and-trade climate change bill contains a provision that could suddenly render useless the carbon credits it creates, says Sen. David Vitter, R-La.
Vitter will speak at a press conference later today on how the bill establishes emergency conditions requiring the president to step in and use all of his authority over relevant agencies to stop global warming. According to the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, which performs climate modeling analyses for the Department of Energy, the emergency conditions laid out in the bill would be triggered within months of its enactment.
The cap-and-trade bill -- both the Senate version that passed the Environment and Public Works committee and the version that already passed the House -- effectively declares a climate emergency if world greenhouse gas levels climb above 450 parts per million. (The number appears to have been chosen arbitrarily.) According to the Pacific Northwest National lab, which wrote in response to Vitter's inquiries, the world's air will hit that level of greenhouse gases next year, in 2010, if undeveloped nations do not accept carbon limits.
The result is a a scenario in which the law not only permits but in fact requires the president to “direct all Federal agencies to use existing statutory authority to take appropriate actions...to address shortfalls" in emissions cutbacks.
The bill's language places an unusually broad mandate upon the president to act in the event of this "emergency" situation." In a letter to Vitter, EPA administration Lisa Jackson wrote that she does not know what her agency would do. “It is premature to describe exactly what additional actions EPA may take until such an analysis is conducted," she wrote.
But declaration of this "climate emergency" could result in federal agencies denying all discretionary permits for carbon-emitting industries, and EPA itself could impose non-attainment status upon the entire United States. "In that context, the carbon credits won't matter," Vitter told me yesterday.
If a future president tries to go easy on industry, environmental groups are sure to litigate based on the clear language in the law, forcing his hand.
"This provision was not focused on to any significant extent during the House debate," said Vitter. The climate change bill passed the House this summer, hours after hundreds of pages of amendments were added to it. Vitter said he plans to write industry leaders who are supporting the climate bill to ask whether they understand what the bill's language would do.
h/t Climate Depot
This time I have to believe that, whatever the provision is, it simply can't call for emergency actions to override everything else. Of course, it is hard to believe that someone could be fined or incarcerated for not buying health insurance. But I've got to believe that what is written and what is being said just cannot be the same with regard to carbon dioxide targets.
That would be far too stupid... and even the Democratic Party has a self-preservation gene in it somewhere... even if it is recessive.
Key Senate Democrats Tuesday said it is unlikely there will be any more major committee action on climate-change legislation this year, the strongest indication yet that a comprehensive bill to cut greenhouse-gas emissions won't be voted on until at least next year. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.), who is leading an effort by moderate, heartland Democrats to protect manufacturing and agriculture industries, said committees were no longer under any timetables to produce legislation. Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D., Ark.), who chairs the Agriculture Committee, is facing a tough re-election campaign next year, and handling a highly controversial climate-change bill in her panel may risk alienating voters.
--Ian Talley, The Wall Street Journal, 11 November 2009
h/t Benny Peiser via email