View Full Version : GOP "Cap and Traitors"?

07-01-2009, 09:48 AM
Gerson has gone insane. Read his piece...he admits that: 1) This is a bad bill, 2) It won't do anything anyway 3) It only benefits a narrow few and 4) The science may not even end up being there.

His justification is that it's necessary because it's better than doing nothing.


Nowhere does he mention the costs associated with this legislation, nor the "inconvenient truth" that there is nothing on deck to replace this stuff in the interim.

THIS is the kind of "logic" that could get this POS forced through the Senate.


Cap and traitors? Not these Republicans By Michael Gerson
Washington Post Writers Group

Published on Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009
WASHINGTON: With the cap-and-trade bill passing the House of Representatives last week by seven votes, the eight Republicans who supported it were bound to feel some rapid, political warming. Conservative Internet and radio accused them of single-handedly passing President Obama's ''cap-and-tax'' legislation, which is a myth; Speaker Nancy Pelosi likely would have forced the requisite number of Democratic votes in the absence of Republican backing. But these eight Republicans were still termed ''traitorous.''
It is typical that we praise independent judgment and political nerve in our elected officials — until they actually show those qualities.
Admittedly, this was not the best time to display conspicuous Republican environmental conscience. Obama's ideological overreach on issues from the fiscal stimulus to health-care nationalization has put conservatives in a scrappy mood. The recession has brought the public's economic anxiety into sharp focus, while moving environmental concerns — droughts in the Sahel or floods in Bangladesh — into the hazy distance. And the House cap-and-trade bill itself was a riot of loopholes, concessions and offsets — legislative sausage-making with an excess of offal.

But none of these political considerations change an underlying reality. A serious concern about global climate disruption remains the broad (not unanimous but predominant) view of the scientific community, including the National Academy of Sciences. Global warming since the 19th century is undeniable — a trend not disproved by year-to-year variations. These changes are closely correlated with increases in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide since the Industrial Revolution.

Climate disruption has become so rapid in some places that it is overwhelming the natural process of adjustment, reducing crop yields and leading to the extinction of species. Meanwhile, global carbon emissions are increasing faster than expected. Some scientists warn of possible ''tipping points'' — the rapid disintegration of the ice sheets, the sudden release of methane from warming northern soils — that could turn a challenge into acatastrophe of lethal heat waves and rising sea levels.

Is this scientific viewpoint certain or guaranteed? Not when the scientific models concern a system as complex as the Earth's climate. Neither is it guaranteed that an Iranian nuclear weapon would be used against that country's enemies. But the realistic possibility of disaster, in both cases, would recommend a serious response.

The range of serious responses is limited. The federal government might spend directly on new technologies that produce energy without emitting carbon. But government's record in picking technological winners and losers is poor.

Others propose a carbon tax — a cost per ton emitted, with no special exemptions. This system would be simple to implement and difficult to game. But it would also disproportionately punish some energy-intensive American industries — cement, glass, steel and paper — that face intense international competition.

The final alternative is a cap-and-trade system, which sets an overall limit on carbon emissions while directing relief to specific industries through rebates and offsets. Cap-and-trade has been used with dramatic success to reduce acid rain — but it has never been employed on the massive scale that the regulation of carbon requires.

Critics argue that carbon restrictions, even if fully implemented, would only reduce global temperatures by minor amounts, which is true. We are not going to regulate our way out of global climate disruption. The only eventual solution is technological — the ability to produce affordable, clean power on a large scale.

But conservatives seem strangely intent on ignoring the power of markets to encourage such innovation. Right now, the emission of carbon is essentially cost-free. Putting a price on carbon would make the development of cleaner energy technologies more profitable. New technologies could be employed, not only by America, but also by China, India and the rest of the developing, polluting world. And it is an added (but not minor) benefit that American resources would no longer be transferred to Saudi princes, Russian autocrats and Venezuelan dictators.

It is perfectly legitimate to argue that the House cap-and-trade system is flawed beyond redemption — so complex and confusing that it only benefits regulators and the lobbyists who outwit them — and that Congress should start over with a carbon tax.
It is also legitimate to contend that, while the cap-and-trade system is flawed, it is better than inaction and necessary to spur innovation. And for eight House Republicans who took this stand at great political risk, it is not only legitimate; it is admirable.

Gerson is a Washington Post Writers Group columnist. He can be e-mailed at mgerson@globalengage.org.

Fire Haley
07-01-2009, 01:32 PM
Dems have 60 seats in the Senate now.


07-01-2009, 01:38 PM
Can't wait for those $300+ monthly electric bills....

Fire Haley
07-01-2009, 01:52 PM
Here's the full text of the Bill - 1428 pages!


Have fun. Let us know what you find.

07-01-2009, 02:55 PM
Can't wait for those $300+ monthly electric bills....

And for higher costs for my college education.

07-01-2009, 03:31 PM
In 5, 4, 3, 2 . . . . .

But, but, but Bush. :coffee:

07-02-2009, 07:55 AM
You know, I agree with Friedman on many things, but I'm adding him to my "Cap and Trade Moonbat" list...he has even LESS compelling reasons for passing it. Who cares what other countries think of us...they are only going to look out for #1 and I guarantee India and China will produce power in the cheapest fashion possible, environment be damned. It puts us a TREMENDOUS disadvantage to be saddled with these additional restrictions. Calling the GOP "The party of sex scandals and polluters" is probably one of the most egregious ad hominem attacks I've seen outside of a Maureen Dowd piece.

He simply ignores the questionable science altogether, and then proceeds to run the GOP down for being the ones who've kept their head on straight through this ridiculous fashionable (and fantastical) "man made global warming" farce. He's basically saying the GOP is bad because, while every other idiot in the country is jumping off the bridge, they refuse to jump right along with the rest of the herd. Faulty logic to say the least.

Finally, I've yet to see anyone anywhere tell me exactly what will we be replacing our current methods with. What is this new magical alternative fuel? When will it take effect? This reminds me a lot of the Local Number Portability tax the government slammed all of us with on our landlines like 12 years ago. The goal was to be able to port your local phone number with you anywhere in the country you may move. We've all been paying the tax every month on our land lines for years, but you STILL cannot port your number. They taxed us with the promise of something, collected the revenues, and did nothing. The private phone companies were supposed to be incentivized by this, yet, again, why is it that YEARS later I still can't take my number with me when I move?


For sure, the climate bill is a mess. Now, let's make it law

By Thomas L. Friedman
New York Times

Published on Thursday, Jul 02, 2009

WASHINGTON: There is much in the House cap-and-trade energy bill that just passed that I absolutely hate. It is too weak in key areas and way too complicated in others. A simple, straightforward carbon tax would have made much more sense than this Rube Goldberg contraption. It is pathetic that we couldn't do better. It is appalling that so much had to be given away to polluters. It stinks. It's a mess. I detest it.

Now let's get it passed in the Senate and make it law.

Why? Because, for all its flaws, this bill is the first comprehensive attempt by America to mitigate climate change by putting a price on carbon emissions. Rejecting this bill would have been read in the world as America voting against the reality and urgency of climate change and would have undermined clean-energy initiatives everywhere.

More important, my gut tells me that if the U.S. government puts a price on carbon, even a weak one, it will usher in a new mind-set among consumers, investors, farmers, innovators and entrepreneurs that in time will make a big difference — much like the first warnings that cigarettes could cause cancer. The morning after that warning, no one ever looked at smoking the same again.

Ditto if this bill passes. Henceforth, every investment decision made in America — about how homes are built, products manufactured or electricity generated — will look for the least-cost low-carbon option. And weaving carbon emissions into every business decision will drive innovation and deployment of clean technologies to a whole new level and make energy efficiency much more affordable. That ain't beanbag.

Now that the bill is heading for the Senate, though, we must, ideally, try to improve it, but, at a minimum, guard against diluting it any further. To do that we need the help of the three parties most responsible for how weak the bill already is: the Republican Party, President Barack Obama and We the People.

This bill is not weak because its framers, Reps. Henry Waxman and Ed Markey, wanted it this way. ''They had to make the compromises they did,'' said Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign, ''because almost every House Republican voted against the bill and did nothing to try to improve it. So to get it passed, they needed every coal-state Democrat, and that meant they had to water it down to bring them on board.''

What are Republicans thinking? It is not as if they put forward a different strategy, like a carbon tax. Does the GOP want to be the party of sex scandals and polluters or does it want to be a partner in helping America dominate the next great global industry: ET — energy technology? How could Republicans become so anti-environment, just when the country is going green?

Historically speaking, ''Republicans can claim as much credit for America's environmental leadership as Democrats,'' noted Glenn Prickett, senior vice president at Conservation International. ''The two greatest environmental presidents in American history were Teddy Roosevelt, who created our national park system, and Richard Nixon, whose administration gave us the Clean Air Act and the Environmental Protection Agency.'' The elder George Bush signed the 1993 Rio Treaty, to preserve biodiversity.

Yes, this bill's goal of reducing U.S. carbon emissions to 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 is nowhere near what science tells us we need to mitigate climate change. But it also contains significant provisions to prevent new buildings from becoming energy hogs, to make our appliances the most energy efficient in the world and to help preserve forests in places like the Amazon.

We need Republicans who believe in fiscal conservatism and conservation joining this legislation in the Senate. We want a bill that transforms the whole country, not one that just threads a political needle. I hope they start listening to green Republicans like Dick Lugar, George Shultz and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

I also hope we will hear more from Obama. Something feels very calculating in how he has approached this bill, as if he doesn't quite want to get his hands dirty, as if he is ready to twist arms in private, but not so much that if the bill goes down he will get tarnished.

That is no way to fight this war. He is going to have to mobilize the whole country to pressure the Senate — by educating Americans, with speech after speech, about the opportunities and necessities of a serious climate/energy bill. If he is not ready to risk failure by going all out, failure will be the most likely result.

And then there is We the People. Attention, all young Americans: Your climate future is being decided right now in the cloakrooms of the Capitol, where the coal lobby holds huge sway. You want to make a difference? Then get out of Facebook and into somebody's face. Get a million people on the Washington Mall calling for a price on carbon. That will get the Senate's attention. Play hardball or don't play at all.
Friedman is a New York Times columnist.

07-02-2009, 08:05 AM
Dems have 60 seats in the Senate now.


That right there should scare everyone.

07-02-2009, 01:16 PM
That right there should scare everyone.

While it's scary, they have no excuses for what ever fails to get through the House and Senate. Also, when shit hits the fan over all the crazy policies they are trying to implement in a recession(although I think by definition it's now a depression). They will have no one to blame but themselves for their big piles of crap they ram down our throats. Maybe this will finally wake up the rest of America.

07-02-2009, 02:19 PM
Maybe this will finally wake up the rest of America.

Oh, it will - when more and more people are forced into the decision of whether to feed their kids or pay their exorbitant through-the-roof utility bills, they'll wake right the hell up.

Dino 6 Rings
07-02-2009, 02:28 PM
But if your name is G.E., not to worry, you're exempt from this bill.

07-02-2009, 03:33 PM
We give ourselves entirely too much credit for our ability to mess up the planet. But at least it'll be funny a hundred years from now, or whenever it is that they finally realize this was all a big waste of time and money.

Dino 6 Rings
07-02-2009, 04:00 PM
But its my money being wasted now and that doesn't make me very happy at all.

So I'm supposed to believe that his Bill, in the United States, is going to FORCE China and India to pollute less?


07-02-2009, 04:23 PM
I will say this...

On this bill I'm pretty neutral, a, "wait and see" mentality has stricken me. I've seen the arguments, so don't worry about that. My current electric bill is an average of about 80 dollars a month throughout the year, counting those really cold winters (I hate the cold), so I'll eat my words if I see a remarkable increase and apologize to everyone on the board for my neutrality.

Fire Haley
07-02-2009, 05:24 PM
We give ourselves entirely too much credit for our ability to mess up the planet. But at least it'll be funny a hundred years from now, or whenever it is that they finally realize this was all a big waste of time and money.

If I was President I would be genetically engineering humans to adapt to other worlds and be shipping them off-planet pronto.
Breeder ships with earth chicks to spread our seed to the stars! That's what we need to do. Get off this rock and kick ass throughout the galaxy.



07-03-2009, 08:33 AM
I'm all for reducing pollution. Really, I am...Friedman's remarks about the GOP being "The party of sex scandals and polluters" is really puerile and ignorant.

But can't we do this in an intelligent and rational way? In a cost effective way? Can we get a little better science behind these theories before we start flushing billions away on them? Can we get some alternatives in place BEFORE we start taxing the living Hell out of what has worked in the past?

Trying to be smart and responsible about the spending does NOT make me a polluter!